Following World War II, Colorado Springs native Fred Schumm enrolled in  the Fine Arts Center where he met photographer Myron Wood. They became great friends and Myron documented Fred’s fantastical playground sculptures in Conejos and Boulder Crescent Parks. Craig Richardson spoke with Fred Schumm, now 85 and living in New Jersey, about the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Myron Wood and the playground sculptures he constructed while working for the city.  Shortly after the sculptures were completed, Schumm was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study art in Italy.

 

9 Responses to Space Age Playgrounds: An Interview with Artist Fred Schumm

  1. Eva says:

    fabulous – and yet another thing to mourn. What happened to those playgrounds? what insane city official decided to remove them?
    Hard to believe those pictures are from the late 50′s and early 60′s.

  2. Clay says:

    Eva, we should praise God those playgrounds were removed, and replaced with safer, modern equipment!

  3. Debbie Swanson says:

    Still, even if today’s playgrounds are safer, I really would like to know what happened to Schumm’s pieces. They were art! Even if they are not used today as playground pieces, what fun it would be to see them, and get a child’s eye and imagine what a kid could do with it. . .

    Does anyone know?

  4. B Casados says:

    Thanks for this great post. I’ve been in CS since, 1972, and remember the orang slide-thing in Boulder Crescent Park. I thought it indcated what an imaginative and progressive city this was. Art really does create community.

    I also met Myron Wood (he was a non-drinking regular in a bar I worked at!), in failing health in the early 1980′s. Like the story said, he had a way about him that made friends with everyone. He told me about his collection of historic William Henry Jackson photos. Now, Wood’s photos are historic tresures.

    Yes, it is sad that these imaginative toys are gone. But, I hope that these kinds of things can help inspire imagination and creativity in this city.

    thank-you, KRCC!

  5. Mary Ellen says:

    Thanks so much for this story–I always wondered where those cool sculptural playground pieces came from. This is great! –Mary Ellen

  6. Dave Mills says:

    Noel and Craig, you two do more for this city than a thousand Dobsons or Bruces or Riveras ever could. Thanks for making our poor city richer.

  7. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fine Arts Center, KRCC. KRCC said: Space Age Playgrounds: An Interview with Artist Fred Schumm: Following World War II, Colorado Springs native Fred … http://bit.ly/czxaNS [...]

  8. Dave says:

    Clay says “Eva, we should praise God those playgrounds were removed, and replaced with safer, modern equipment!” I used to play on the Boulder Crescent one and thought it was way cool. Little did I know God considered these things such an abomination. Why, we should have had cable harnesses so we wouldn’t get those ungodly booboos because children should never be subjected to risk! Give me a break. Have you seen some of the new playground equipment Mr. Piety? They too were designed by Satan himself. What was his name? Fred “Beelzebub” Schumm? How DID I survive?

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