Host of the Ellipse (Garden Scale) 1981, by Ronald Bladen (1918- 1988), graces the garden. Influenced by sculptors Isamu Noguchi and David Smith, Bladen’s work evolved over time from painting to freestanding plywood sculptures fastened with metal struts, to the over-sized geometry found in the metal constructions of his later years. A pioneer of minimalism, Bladen inspired the work of Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt. Bladen’s passionate and evolving interest in art was nurtured at the Vancouver School of Art and at the California School of Fine Arts. Fortuitously declared unfit for service during WWII, Bladen honed his aptitude as a shop welder, later utilizing those skills in the construction of sculpture. Co-founder of the Brata Gallery where his early work found a home, an appreciation for his technique, his use of industrial materials, and the intense expression realized in his hard-edged forms, grew. Twice he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by the National Endowment of the Arts. Public commissions include The Cathedral Evening, 1969 (Albany), Vroom Sh- Sh-Sh, 1974 (Buffalo), and Raiko I, 1975 (Düsseldorf). Faithful to his calling, Bladen sought to train and guide promising artists as a guest lecturer at Columbia University, a teacher at Parsons The New School for Design and at the School of Visual Arts.