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Around the Hawthorne: STL Photo of the Week

Posted on February 07, 2020 in Photos

A passenger passes time near the Isaac Witkin sculpture, Hawthorne Tree (1982) in Terminal 1 Ticketing Level.

There’s many special spots at St. Louis Lambert International Airport to pass the time before heading to your gate, or waiting on friends or loved ones to arrive. The Airport is proud to say that one of those special places is around the Hawthorne Tree, thanks to a loan by the Laumeier Sculpture Park. Hawthorne Tree is a 5 ft. high cast bronze sculpture by artist Isaac Witken. Reminiscent of a gnarled and thorny tree found in Witkin’s native South Africa, this work reflects on the aspect of magical transformation. The theme is derived from a spell that was cast upon Merlin the Magician by a wood nymph, to whom he teaches his magic. The nymph goes forth in the guise of Merlin while he rests under the shade of a Hawthorne tree. By using bronze in an expressive way to mimic nature’s way of form-making, Witkin created a sculpture that is simultaneously grounded and atmospheric, enchanted and sacred. The sculpture has been inspiring visitors at the Airport since 2014 in the Terminal 1 Ticketing lounge, between the Delta and American Airlines ticket counters.