Berlin, Germany Next: Berlin, Germany

Ellsworth Kelly (American, 1923 – 2015)

Berlin Totem, 2008, stainless steel, 40 feet x 4 feet x 8 inches

“I am honored to be able to support FAPE and its important mission to bring American art to the world through our embassies. In 2008, my Berlin Totem, a forty-foot-high stainless steel sculpture, was installed in the courtyard at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. I was commissioned by the German government, in 2000, to install a work in the Bundestag at the Paul Löbe Haus in Berlin, so it was exciting to continue the conversation of my work by contributing to our government’s building in this historic capital.”

In 2006, FAPE commissioned Ellsworth Kelly to create a sculpture for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. On February 13, 2008, one of the largest mobile cranes in Europe was used to hoist the artist’s work over the building for permanent placement in the courtyard garden.

One of the most acclaimed American artists, Kelly was born in Newburgh, New York. He has executed many public commissions, including a work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, in 1993; in 1998, panels for the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, Boston; in 2009, a sculpture for the Art Institute of Chicago; and in 2012, a sculpture for the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. The artist was awarded the 2012 National Medal of Arts.

Gift of the artist with additional funding provided by Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass

About the project →
View a film about this project →
Artist website →

© Ellsworth Kelly/Photograph: Jack Shear

Subscribe to our newsletter