Period photograph of Louise Nevelson Plaza, dedicated in 1977. William R. Devine, The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.

The Perils of Public Art: Louise Nevelson Plaza

Even as a retrospective of Louise Nevelson’s work opens at The Jewish Museum in New York, one of her most important public artworks is being redesigned beyond recognition. Nevelson was the first woman to gain fame in the U.S. for her public art. Her commissions from the federal government, corporations, universities, and religious institutions date back to the 1970s. But none, arguably, was more prestigious than Louise Nevelson Plaza in lower Manhattan.