Art Unleashed

Inside the next great sculpture garden

In their home beside Lake Minnetonka, Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison set some ground rules. “We don’t want any articles that imply big social types,” Alfred says. “None of that glossy magazine kind of stuff.” Ingrid adds with a smile, “You’re lucky to have even been invited here.” The reason for the visit with these very private philanthropists is actually 10 miles away, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, where the Harrison Sculpture Garden will open this month with nearly two dozen sculptures dotting the High Point hill like exotic shrubs. They used to be here, spread around the Lenz Harrisons’ 10-acre estate. “I came from a house of art, Alfred from a house of music,” Ingrid says. They didn’t come from money. But Alfred eventually became an internationally renowned investments manager, and it was on their travels that many of the sculptures were collected, often after meeting the artists. “Through the form, you know what is inside that person,” Ingrid says. The largest is a 20-foot-tall bronze from Italy. The lone local piece is the graceful “Swimmers” by Paul Granlund. A few years ago, they thought to donate the collection, but the Minneapolis Institute of Arts didn’t have room, nor did the Walker Art Center. The Arboretum, however, was looking for sculptures. “When we’re gone and the kids or grandchildren come back to visit,” Ingrid says, “they know where they can find a piece of us.”