Looking for world-class art in Tulsa? This city sculpture is perhaps—strike that, definitely— one of the most overlooked pieces of art in town. The piece was designed by the late and great Harry Bertoia, an artist whose sculptures, furniture designs and installations have been commissioned for such places as MIT and the U.S. Consulate in Norway. And yet, our own small piece of the artist’s catalog has been called the “Hidden Bertoia” on more than one occasion.
Completed in 1959, the piece was originally constructed to anchor a gleaming fountain outside Tulsa’s ultra-swanky First National Auto Bank, which was once the largest drive-thru bank in the world. Today, it sits tucked into a barren plaza at 4th and Main. The sculpture is a lanky work of midcentury modernism, featuring a bronze pole adorned with what looks like fluttering leaves or feathers fanning out around the center.
In 2017, it was announced that the sculpture would undergo restoration before rising once again at downtown's Central Library near Fifth Street and Denver Avenue.