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Arboretum reopening to members June 1

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  • landscape of pond
  • Human+Nature opens April 9, 2021
May 12, 2020

The Morton Arboretum reopening to members June 1, reschedules Human+Nature exhibition to spring 2021, Troll Hunt will continue through early 2021.

The Morton Arboretum is planning to begin a phased reopening only for members June 1 through 14. Its newest outdoor art installation, Human+Nature, has been rescheduled to open April 9, 2021, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The six colossal troll sculptures in the Arboretum’s popular Troll Hunt exhibition, which was scheduled to close in June, will remain through early 2021. 

“The Arboretum will continue to monitor and evaluate the ongoing health situation, and may make adjustments to the target reopening date if needed,” said Gerard T. Donnelly, PhD, president and CEO.

The Arboretum’s special events and educational programs originally scheduled for June have been canceled or transitioned to an online format. Additional safety procedures will be in place to pace entry to the Arboretum site and enforce social distancing requirements. Members must make advance reservations online for timed-entry passes. Buildings, indoor restrooms, and the Children’s Garden and Maze Garden will remain closed until further notice. The Arboretum currently plans to open to nonmember visitors on June 15, and will adjust its plans accordingly if necessary at that time.

When Human+Nature opens in 2021, it will be the largest exhibition to date by renowned South African artist Daniel Popper. The five 20- to 25-foot-tall sculptures, created exclusively for the Arboretum, will explore the deep-rooted connection between nature and humans.

“I look forward to helping people feel the interconnectedness we have with nature,” Popper said. “We just need to get through this unprecedented time safely.”

Exhibition Highlights
Built to create a sense of awe and wonder, five large-scale Human+Nature (pronounced “Human Nature”) sculptures will be featured in the exhibition with the backdrop of the Arboretum’s magnificent tree collections. Visitors will be encouraged to appreciate trees in a new way and to recognize their importance to humankind amid a changing climate. The installations will include, among others, a towering interpretation of a Mother Nature figure welcoming Arboretum visitors to interact by walking inside the sculpture, another with diverse human facial traits interwoven with roots, and one with a symbolic opening of the human heart.


About the Artist
Daniel Popper is a multidisciplinary Cape Town artist known globally for his larger-than-life sculptures and spectacular public art installations. He is most acclaimed for his massive public art installations, including the memorial sculpture for the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology in South Africa, and sculptures for popular events such as the Boom Festival in Portugal and Rainbow Serpent Festival in Australia.