Meijer Gardens’ Upcoming Exhibition to Focus on Fred Meijer

Fred and Lena in Milan, Italy studio of Arnaldo Pomodoro.

Fred Meijer envisioned bringing a sculpture park to Grand Rapids and now nearly 25 years since Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened, the park is honoring its benefactor with a special exhibition, “A National Treasure: Fred Meijer, His Collection and Legacy.”

The exhibition is timed to commemorate the centenary of Meijer’s birth.

Opening on Feb. 1,  this exclusive exhibition is a celebration of Meijer’s desire to build a world-class sculpture collection. This exhibition will run through Aug. 25 and will display 11 different “chapters,” each based around original works of art from Meijer Gardens’ permanent collection as well as exclusive loans from sculptors and galleries that Meijer knew and admired. The exhibition will also debut a series of important recent acquisitions to Meijer Gardens’ permanent collection, including works by El Anatsui, George Segal and George Minne.

Fred Meijer admiring one of the sculptures at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Fred Meijer admiring one of the sculptures at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

“A National Treasure: Fred Meijer, His Collection and Legacy” examines Meijer’s passion for sculpture, his growth as a collector and his profound commitment to engage diverse audiences through his collection.

Each facet of Meijer’s collection is explored in this exhibition, including early ideas for a sculpture park and ways that the collection would be integrated across the gardens and grounds of what would become Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

The exhibition follows Meijer’s journey as a collector and patron of the arts, with rare insight into the creation of one of the world’s greatest collections of modern and contemporary sculpture.

Meijer Gardens has become an international destination and sees over 750,000 visitors per year. It is currently undergoing an expansion and renovations to accommodate the growth it’s seen. The park expects annual visitors to climb to up to 1.5 million annually.

*Photo courtesy of Meijer Gardens