"Pumpkin Large" is the latest public art installment at the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in downtown Des Moines.


A fountain depicting a female rabbit from a series of picture books is coming to Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines later this year.

Miffy Fountain will be permanently placed on the north side of Locust Street between 10th and 12th streets near the Des Moines Public Library. It's scheduled to be installed in late October.

Miffy is a small, positive, adventurous rabbit who first appeared in a picture book drawn by Dutch artist Dick Bruna in 1955. She has been featured in more than 30 books, the latest being released in 2011.

Created by American artist Tom Sachs, the 10-foot-tall Miffy Fountain will be made of cast bronze and painted white. Water will spill from Miffy's eyes into a fountain below.

The artist is examining the commercialization of an innocent bunny to sell merchandise to children, according to the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation.

Miffy Fountain first appeared in New York City in 2008 and later in Paris. It's currently in Arizona, getting touched up before making Des Moines its permanent home.

The children of Melva Bucksbaum, a local art collector and philanthropist, gifted Miffy Fountain to the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation in memory of their mother, who died in 2016. They are her daughter Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan and sons Gene Bucksbaum and Glenn Bucksbaum.

"The generous contribution from the Bucksbaum family reflects the importance of public art in our community," said Jessica Rowe, director of the Public Art Foundation. "The gift allows us to present Toms Sachs’ extraordinary work of art, as well as move us closer to our goal of becoming a world-class destination for public art."

This is the second permanent installation to come to Western Gateway Park this year. "Pumpkin Large," a 3,000-pound bronze pumpkin, was placed in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in February.

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