Escutcheon, Mythical Bird, Contemplations and Silent Sentinel—all gifts of Dr. Lee W. Lenz, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden director emeritus—now comprise the Lee W. Lenz Sculpture Collection.
On October 26, 2011, the Board formally proclaimed the Lenz Sculpture Collection, consisting of all current and future pieces of artwork donated by Lenz, as a tribute to his long-time support of the art collection at RSABG.
The sculpture at the Garden features works from renown masters of contemporary art—an international and multi-generational group of artists and includes the Lenz collection as well as Intersections II (on loan from Lenz), Genesis, a gift of the artist Aldo Casanova and Untitled by John Svenson, a gift of Pomona College.
A knowledgeable and involved art collector, Lenz has been actively involved at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden since coming to the organization as a geneticist on July 1, 1945 and served as director from 1960 until 1984.
With his support, RSABG has significantly grown its outdoor sculpture collection. The first sculpture at the Garden was installed in the 1980s. Lenz has donated or loaned many pieces of artwork and sculpture to RSABG over the years. Gene Flores’ Mythical Bird, located in the upper pond on the western path of Indian Hill Mesa, was the first sculpture Lenz donated to RSABG.
Lenz has worked to increase awareness of the importance of sculpture in gardens by leading tours and giving lectures. In 2011, he wrote and designed a guide available to the public as a guide to each of the seven works on view in the Garden.
RSABG’s art collection will grow and evolve over time and as it does, it will continue to add vibrancy and excitement to the Garden.