"Porta Largo"

Porta LargoTitle: "Porta Largo"

Sculptor: Walter Dusenbery (right)Artist

Location: South of Strayer-Wood Theatre and Kamerick Art Building

Date Installed: July 1985

Cost: $107,000

Larger Associated Project: Kamerick Art Building

Description: The fifteen ton sculpture stands 15 1/2 feet tall and is made of Sardinian white marble. It is composed of two vertical columns and one smaller slab connecting them. One column is fluted, reflecting the architecture of the Greeks, while the other is rectangular, emphasizing a more modern look. The seventeen separate pieces of the columns are connected like blocks, a technique used in ancient Greece and Rome.

Porta Largo
Installation of the sculpture.

Other: Dusenbery had been playing with the concept of the sculpture for some time, and was able to adapt his idea when UNI commissioned him. The name "Porta Largo," which translates to "large gate," is fitting because the sculpture is commonly perceived as a window or an opened door. By combining the styles of ancient architecture and modern thought, Dusenbery wanted the sculpture to show "a connection with the past and a faith in the future."

Critical Reaction: The UNI Gallery of Art displayed a number of Dusenbery's works from October 21 to December 18, 1985. Daniel E. Stetson, Director of the UNI Gallery of Art, wrote that "Porta Largo" "seems to symbolize the depth of thought of the academic world while also acting as a gate to the arts at the University" ("Walter Dusenbery Classical Echoes" exhibition brochure).

 

Porta Largo
Installation of "Porta Largo"

 

 

Compiled by Jonathan Russell; edited by Susan Basye
Special Collections and University Archives
March 1998


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
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Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu