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Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin - Department of Biology

Sculptures

Only a few years after the Arboretum was assigned to the Institute of Systematic Botany, which was newly founded in 1961, the gardens were equipped with various small sculptures over the years. Mostly handed over by the council of the Berlin-Treptow district at that time, mainly bronze figures found their way into the garden ensemble.


We hope you enjoy your walk through the Späth-Arboretum and let yourself be surprised by the works along the circular trail, which belong to the art and cultural heritage of the Humboldt-Universität.

 


 

The first to enter the Arboretum was HEDWIG JAENICHEN-WOERMANN's "Mann mit Schale" ("Man with a Bowl"). In 1964 the bronze figure found its place next to a small watercourse in section 25. Initially on loan from Mrs Roosen from the former Treptow district (now Treptow-Köpenick), the figure was transferred to the Humboldt-Universität in 1983.

 

Mann mit Schale
Photo: Heidrun Kostial


 

The "Komposition mit Rehen" ("Composition with deer"), executed in bronze by the Bulgarian artist IVAN NESHEV, has been on the meadow of the centrally located section 15 since 1966. The Arboretum received it from the council of the Berlin-Treptow district.

 

Rehgruppe
Photo: Heidrun Kostial
Rehgruppe
Photo: Heidrun Kostial


 

The bronze figure of the "Stehenden Barbara" ("Standing Barbara") by the sculptor WERNER RICHTER also came to the Arboretum as a gift from the district and can be seen in section 28.

 

stehende Barbara
Photo: H. Kostial
stehende Barbara
Photo: Heidrun Kostial

 

In front of the institute building, visitors are welcomed by a sculpture by JAN SKUIN. The "Megasporophyll von Cycas revoluta" ("Megasporophyll of Cycas revoluta"), the seed-bearing leaf of a cycad, whose natural size is about 20 cm, is enlarged to 2.17 m here. It carries the megasporangia from which the roundish and naked seeds, not enclosed in a fruit, ripen after fertilisation. The pinnate end section of this seed-bearing leaf is similar to the vegetative leaves of the species, illustrating that the seed-bearing leaves have evolved from vegetative leaves in the course of evolution. This steel-bronze sculpture was also a gift from the council of Berlin-Treptow district on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Arboretum in 1979 and was installed the following year.

 

Meagasporophyll
Photo: H. Kostial


 

At the back of the Arboretum, in section 26, visitors are welcomed by the bronze sculpture "Junges Mädchen, stehend" ("Young Girl Standing") by the artist ROBERT METZKES in 1981.

 

Mädchen stehend
Photo: H. Kostial
Mädchen stehend
Photo: H. Kostial

 

The collection is completed by the "Schlafende" ("Sleeping [woman]"), the only sandstone figure in the Arboretum, created by the sculptor M. BLUME-CARDENAS. It came to the garden in 1983, again as a gift from the council of the district, and found its place in section 29.

Schlafende
Photo: H. Kostial


 

In addition to the above-mentioned sculptures, there are two sandstone reliefs (in section 22) that were removed from the northern gable of the present institute building in 1960. Franz Späth had the building raised in 1874 as his residence. The reliefs recall his father, Johann Carl Ludwig Späth (1793-1883), and grandfather, Carl-Friedrich Späth (1768-1831).


Neither person, however, has found their final resting place here. The family grave of the Späth family is located at the Luisenstädtischer Friedhof cemetery in the Kreuzberg/Friedrichshain district near the Südstern underground station.


A plaque commemorating Franz Späth and his importance for the international tree nursery industry has been attached to the entrance of the institute building in 1995.

 

Friedrich Späth
Photo: H. Kostial
Ludwig Späth
Photo: H. Kostial

 

The historical advertising column on section 5, visible from the entrance to the Arboretum, was erected around 1900 as a electrical network station and fulfilled its function of voltage transformation and power supply until the 1960s. The Arboretum acquired it for a symbolic price from BEWAG, which planned its demolition.

 

Netzstation
Photo: H. Kostial

 

The plaque of honour awarded to the Späth-Arboretum in 1998 by the International Dendrology Society in recognition of its uniqueness and as a sign of its worthiness for conservation bears witness to its international recognition and is an incentive for our staff to continue to preserve this gem for students, experts and the public. The plaque was placed on a boulder in section 6.

 

Ehrenplakette
Photo: H. Kostial

References:

SCHMIDT, VENT, NATHO: Bilder aus dem Arboretum, 2. Aufl. 1981

BRÜCKNER, NATHO, POHL: 120 Jahre Späth-Arboretum, 1. Aufl. 1999

KEUNE, NATHO: Inventurprotokoll aus dem Kunst- und Kulturbesitz der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 1994