Sculpture Milwaukee
Press Release

Pensive Sculpture by Radcliffe Bailey Purchased Will be Sited at 770 N. Water Street

Susan and Mark Irgens envision an inclusive focal point for downtown

By - Dec 11th, 2019 11:42 am
Radcliffe Bailey, Pensive, 2013, part of Sculpture Milwaukee 2019. © Radcliffe Bailey, Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki for Sculpture Milwaukee.

Radcliffe Bailey, Pensive, 2013, part of Sculpture Milwaukee 2019. © Radcliffe Bailey, Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki for Sculpture Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE, Wis.  (December 10, 2019)—Susan and Mark Irgens announced today they have purchased Radcliffe Bailey’s sculpture Pensive from the Jack Shainman Gallery. Pensive,  2013, which was featured in Sculpture Milwaukee’s 2019 exhibition, will be positioned in front of the new BMO Harris Tower located at 790 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee.

“At Irgens, we prioritize public art with our projects. Public art benefits the community at large, attracts talent, and is a valuable amenity that sets apart our building and city,” said Mark Irgens, CEO of Irgens, developer of the BMO Harris Tower. “We couldn’t be more proud, to not only add aesthetic beauty to our cityscape but to also tell the story of Pensive amidst the vibrancy and diversity of downtown Milwaukee. Our city center, like Pensive, is a pastiche—a true celebration of the style and character of the many artists and personalities who came before us.”

Pensive is a cast bronze representation of civil rights activist, scholar, and co-founder of the NAACP, W. E. B. Du Bois. It mimics Rodin’s iconic work The Thinker. “Du Bois is depicted as deeply philosophical, pondering the realities of human behavior separated by centuries of time,” adds Marilu Knode, Chief Curator and Director of Education for Sculpture Milwaukee. The artist, Radcliffe Bailey, is a world-renowned, Atlanta-based artist who uses natural materials, relics and found objects to explore and portray issues of history, culture, and lineage. Sculpture Milwaukee and Irgens are planning a dedication event for a future date.

“We are thrilled that Pensive will reside in the heart of the city, less than a mile from the Fiserv Forum, the Third Ward, Milwaukee Art Museum, the arts district, and Westown,” said Steve Marcus, Board Chair and Founder of Sculpture Milwaukee and Chairman of the Marcus Corporation. “Like several other sculptures from our exhibition that were purchased and installed at prominent sites in the city, including Robert Indiana’s American Love at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Tony Cragg’s Mixed Feelings at Milwaukee City Hall, Pensive will serve as part of Sculpture Milwaukee’s legacy. We are grateful to Susan and Mark Irgens for this beautiful gift.”

About Sculpture Milwaukee

Sculpture Milwaukee is an annual outdoor exhibition of public sculpture in downtown Milwaukee that serves as a catalyst for community engagement, economic development, and creative placemaking. The exhibit creates a free, open-air art gallery, wrapped in fun events and educational opportunities, which captivates residents, tourists, downtown employees, students, and art lovers alike. Supported by Milwaukee Downtown BID #21, Sculpture Milwaukee is funded entirely through private grants, in-kind donations, and sponsorships. All of the artworks are available for purchase. For more information, visit

About Irgens

Irgens is a national leading commercial real estate solutions firm and has completed hundreds of successful projects throughout the United States over the past 35 years. Headquartered in Milwaukee, with offices in Chicago and Phoenix, Irgens’ signature Milwaukee-area projects include BMO Tower, The Corridor—Brookfield, 833 East Michigan, ASQ Center, 875 East Wisconsin and development of 10 office projects within the Milwaukee County Research Park consisting of 1.46 million square feet. To view the firm’s project portfolio, visit

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