After being held high and dry in storage since June 2009, the historic George Tsutakawa fountain is dripping again, having been re-installed to the interior of Burien’s main library.
The fountain, previously located outside of the new library/city hall building, was removed last June due to concerns of damage from children who were crawling in and around it.
The original installation of “Rain Fountain No.2,” made of stainless steel, 6-feet high, was in 1972 at the old Burien Library on 4th Ave SW (now the new Community Center), in an inner, protected courtyard.
Since its removal last year, the iconic fountain has been in storage.
According to Managing Librarian Marilee Cogswell, water volume for these first few weeks will remain low so that water levels can be tested and adjusted.
Here’s some info on Tsutakawa from the website Art Market Online:
George Tsutakawa dedicated his life to art and the freedom of expression that it granted him. Tsutakawa worked in a number of media, including paint, bronze, and clay. Born in Seattle in 1910, Tsutakawa went to live with his maternal grandmother in Japan from 1917 to 1927. Upon Tsutakawa’s return to Seattle, he began to study art and help with the family import/export business. His time spent in Japan as a child – especially the traditional tea ceremonies performed by his uncle – inform his work, as did the beauty of the Pacific Northwest region and the art of the Northwest Masters. Tsutakawa attended the University of Washington, and received his MFA in 1950.
In 1960 the City of Seattle commissioned George Tsutakawa to create Fountain of Wisdom, for the Seattle Library; this project was the first art commission by the city of Seattle since 1908. Between 1960 and 1990, the artist designed and created over 60 fountains throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan. He exhibited extensively throughout Japan, the United States and Canada beginning in the 1950s.
Tsutakawa was awarded many honors throughout his career including the Order of Rising Sun Award, fourth class, from the Emperor of Japan.