Maquette for Barking Sands

Media - 1977.47.30 - SAAM-1977.47.30_1 - 60456
Copied Peter Voulkos, Maquette for Barking Sands, ca. 1977, hammered, welded and patinated bronze, 14 784310 14 in. (37.8109.226.0 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program, 1977.47.30, © 1977, Peter Voulkos

Artwork Details

Maquette for Barking Sands
ca. 1977
14 784310 14 in. (37.8109.226.0 cm)
© 1977, Peter Voulkos
Credit Line
Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program
Mediums Description
hammered, welded and patinated bronze
  • Study — sculpture model
  • Abstract
Object Number

Artwork Description

In 1975 the General Services Administration commissioned Peter Voulkos to create a sculpture for the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Honolulu. The architects envisioned "a voluptuous bronze or dark metal piece" (quoted in Thalacker, The Place of Art in the World of Architecture, 1980). Voulkos named this work Barking Sands after the airfield where he and his "old buddies" were stationed during World War II. The geometric, curving forms were designed to be seen not only from the plaza, but also from high above in the building. The art community in Honolulu loved the sculpture but wanted it to be more visible, so they moved it to the inland side of the building in 1978. The completed work measures 6 by 5 by 25 feet.

Luce Object Quote

"Walking around the building site to the area where the sculpture was to be placed, I saw a terraced situation which called for a low profile piece which would read from the top, a sculpture which would be more interesting to look down upon than view straight on." Peter Voulkos


Media - 1979.159.44 - SAAM-1979.159.44_1 - 56988
Sculpture Down to Scale: Models for Public Art at Federal Buildings, 1974 – 1985
May 31, 2019November 22, 2020
Artists used preliminary models—or maquettes—to communicate their ideas. Varied in scale, format, and level of finish, the nine models in this exhibition offer windows into the creative process, with work by Jackie Ferrara, Sol LeWitt, Claes Oldenburg, and Beverly Pepper, among others.