The Paul and Matilda Wegner Grotto

The Paul and Matilda Wegner Grotto (HM288Z)

Location: Sparta, WI 54656 Monroe County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 3.656', W 90° 52.055'

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Circa 1929-1936

The Paul and Matilda Wegner Grotto is a fantastic environment of concrete sculpture decorated with thousands of colorful glass shards. The Wegners began building their Grotto around their farm home after their retirement in 1929. Developed over several years, the sculpture environment slowly grew to include a fanciful American flag, a giant reproduction of the Wegners' fiftieth anniversary cake, and a concrete facsimile of the Bremen, a celebrated ocean liner of the 1930s. Other constructions were religious in nature. The magnificent Prayer Garden, Glass Church, and Peace Monument once served as places for quiet reflection, public preaching, and community gatherings.

Neither Paul nor Matilda Wegner received any formal training in art. The Wegner Grotto and other creations by self-taught artists from throughout the state are an important part of Wisconsin's cultural heritage. The Wegners' extraordinary vision promises to inspire the imagination of many generations to come.

The Paul and Matilda Wegner Grotto, known locally as The Glass Church, was owned by the Wegner family until purchased by Kohler Foundation, Inc. in 1986 as part of its commitment to the documentation and preservation of significant outsider art environments and folk architecture. Restoration, funded by the Foundation, included extensive structural

stabilization and surface repair of the sculptures as well as landscape clearing to re-establish the environment. The site was gifted to Monroe County in September 1987.

Additional information is available from the Monroe County Local History Room, Community Services Building, County Trunk B, Sparta, Wisconsin 54656.
HM NumberHM288Z
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, June 8th, 2018 at 4:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 670790 N 4880851
Decimal Degrees44.06093333, -90.86758333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 3.656', W 90° 52.055'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 3' 39.36" N, 90° 52' 3.3" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)608
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 7788 Daylight Rd, Sparta WI 54656, US
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