Untitled Relief with Covered Wagon

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Artist
Lifespan
born Denmark, 1885-1961
Nationality
Information
Art Type
Media / Materials
Status
Year Completed
1924
Credit
City of Des Moines, In memory of Charles and James T. Ashworth
Location
Latitude & Longitude
41.576795, -93.683066
Location Description
Entrance of Ashworth Pool, 101 SW 45th Street; Des Moines IA

Above the low relief of a covered wagon crossing a prairie it reads: “Ashworth Park. The gift of Charles and James T. Ashworth to the people of Des Moines – December 4, 1924. Overland from New Hampshire they came in 1851. Here on the neighboring prairies respected and loved they lived to witness the transformation of a primitive land into a rich and powerful commonwealth. In commemoration of those pioneer days they have dedicated this piece of virgin land to the people as a playground forever. To their memory this pool is erected as a monument by the City of Des Moines.”

A detail of the sculptural relief depicting a figure and two oxen pulling a covered wagon across a prairie. Historically tall grass prairie covered 70-80% of Iowa’s landscape. Plow handles are visible protruding from the back of the wagon. Covered wagons helped push the American frontier all the way to the Pacific Ocean, but for western trails the Conestoga wagon morphed into the prairie schooner. Smaller, lighter, and lacking the distinctive curve, prairie schooners carried household goods and some family members—most settlers walked. 

Find other public artwork: Greenwood Park

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

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