Skip to the content

Reading Public Museum Replaces Vandalized Arboretum Sculpture

by Reading Public Museum

Reading Public Museum Replaces Vandalized Arboretum Sculpture

More than a year after vandals destroyed a sculpture placed in the Arboretum at the Reading Public Museum a replacement for that work has reappeared on its original pad. The work by New Jersey artist Miklos Sebek, Duet, from 1987, was destroyed by vandals in early 2020, who knocked the marble carving over, smashing it to pieces, while also toppling benches, destroying flowerbeds, and vandalizing other sites in Wyomissing.  Following an insurance claim and extensive work between the artist, his foundry, and the Foundation for the Reading Public Museum, the original work has been replaced with a bronze version that was cast in 2020 during the pandemic, as the artist determined he could not recreate the work in marble at this late stage of his career.

Duet by Miklos Sebek, bronze

In addition, a new group of sculptures recently donated by Irv and Lois E. Cohen, Forgotten—Remembered Figure, 1992, by Greg Johns (Australian, b. 1953), and Untitled (Armored Kore), c. 1960s, by Aleko Kyriakos (Greek, b. in Germany, b. 1922), have been placed in new sites throughout the Arboretum and an additional bronze, Danzatrice, c. 1990s, by Matteo Lo Greco (Italian, b. 1949) will soon go on view. In the past ten years, The Museum has added more than twenty outdoor sculptures to the Arboretum. A combination of both gifts and loans, 28 outdoor works of art are accessible to all visitors to the grounds throughout the year. Museum Director John Graydon Smith credited the Cohens for their stalwart commitment to sharing their art collection with the public through gifts on display both inside The Museum, and out. Smith stated, “When Irv and Lois endowed the Galleries for Modern and Contemporary Art, they transformed the space into a living, changing space for the best artwork of this genre. Now, by adding these outdoor works to our collection, their love of art can be shared with those who may not enter the building, but pass by on a walk or bike ride.”

The Reading Public Museum is home to an impressive Arboretum that covers 25 acres of lushly appointed and carefully maintained natural beauty, including a sculpture garden. An accredited station for the United States Bureau of Plant Industry, many of the 65 distinctive specimens in the park today are from the original planting in the late 1920s. Large, exotic trees are interspersed with indigenous trees and shrubs, providing fresh air and cooling shade during the summer. The Wyomissing Creek, which flows through the Arboretum and park, provides a peaceful, attractive ambiance for leisurely walks along the many pathways.