Landmark sculpture coming down Monday

For a month or so, it will just be a spoonbridge.

After announcing several weeks ago that the 1,200-pound cherry topping its iconic “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture would be removed to get a fresh coat of paint, the Walker Art Center has scheduled the work for Monday. A new coat of cherry red will be applied to the stainless steel orb off-site.

Commissioned by the Walker in 1985, the massive sculpture by husband-and-wife team Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen was installed in the museum’s sculpture garden in 1988. Over two decades, it has achieved landmark status in the Twin Cities.

Walker officials previously estimated work on the cherry would take about five weeks. That means spoon and cherry should be reunited by early spring, and the fountain (the cherry stem doubles as spout) will be spraying, as usual, this summer.

Van Bruggen, also an art critic and art historian, was 66 when she died in January. As the story goes, Oldenburg dreamed up the spoonbridge, but it was Van Bruggen’s idea to top the sculpture with a cherry.