A Proposal For Children’s Art at the Children’s Zoo Brooklyn, U.S.A. by Christopher Wilmarth April 1987
This is a three ring vinyl binder containing thirty-four page proposal containing thirteen sections representing the artist’s proposal to the Percent For Art program of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Also included is a 34 page stapled collection of guidelines for the grant, including the initial invitation to Wilmarth to serve on the selection panel for the Prospect Park Zoo’s renovation. Wilmarth’s highly personal written proposal was rejected by the Department “…despite a petition with 200 signatures he helped gather” [New York Times]. A part of the artist’s Closing Statement” reads as follows: “…And why would a successful artist spend weeks trying to build support for Children’s Art in the Children’s Zoo and preparing this report instead of shopping for a weekend place in the Hamptons?…The answer is simple. I have been a given temporary job in public service and am being paid $150.00 of the taxpayers’ money to use my professional experience to help select works of art best suited for a site — works that will be funded by public money”. Wilmarth died by his own hand later in 1987. One copy of this proposal has been located in the Christopher Wilmarth Papers at the Harvard Art Museums Archives.