The Durst Organization Brings Jay Lagemann’s Joyful “Swinging Jenny” Sculpture to VIΛ 57 WEST

The Durst Organization Brings Jay Lagemann’s Joyful “Swinging Jenny” Sculpture to VIΛ 57 WEST

Eighteen-foot-tall bronze statue by renowned artist installed at the new property

The Durst Organization today announced that “Swinging Jenny,” an iconic, 18-foot bronze statue by artist Jay Lagemann, has been installed at Bjarke Ingels-designed property VIΛ 57 WEST, highlighting the development company’s commitment to bringing avant-garde art and culture to its residents. The statue, which depicts a father swinging his daughter in the air, is located on the northern end of the through-block of the 57 WEST campus, between West 57th and 58th Streets and 11th and 12th Avenues.

“Jay Lagemann’s ‘Swinging Jenny’ is a timeless piece of art, one that celebrates familial bonds and the importance of loved ones,” said Jonathan (Jody) Durst, President of The Durst Organization. “We welcome this sculpture to VIΛ 57 WEST, and thank Mr. Lagemann for sharing his realized artistic vision with our residents. We hope families that call the building home will see themselves and their children in ‘Swinging Jenny.’”

“‘Swinging Jenny,’” which highlights the connection between parents and children, is a particularly good fit for VIΛ 57 WEST and The Durst Organization,” said artist Jay Lagemann. “The image of the father swinging his daughter in the air recognizes the bonds that keep families together. The Durst Organization, which has been working together for over 100 years, embodies these powerful cross-generational ties.”

The original “Swinging Jenny” was a small, three-dimensional sketch of a man swinging a young girl, made with colored pipe cleaners by Mr. Lagemann 25 years ago on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. Mr. Lagemann was inspired by the feeling of joy and excitement of returning home and reconnecting with his family. Since then, Mr. Lagemann has created many “Swinging Jenny”’s in different sizes, materials, and styles. Over the years, it has become one of his most popular images.

In bringing the commissioned work to VIΛ 57 WEST, Mr. Lagemann was presented with the unique challenge of enlarging a six-foot sculpture to an 18-foot tall statue with “Jenny” flying through the air, cantilevered out 22-feet. He worked with the A.R.T Foundry (Art Research Technology) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Digital Atelier and Providence Engineering to bring the piece to life. His use of palette knives and plaster evokes the feeling of movement to the sculpture. The unique bronze texture of “Swinging Jenny” has been honed by Mr. Lagemann over the past 20 years; he has collaborated with six different casting foundries to perfect the medium.

Mr. Lagemann worked on the full-size “Swinging Jenny” statue for VIΛ 57 WEST in his Chilmark, Massachusetts studio. He then divided it into eighteen pieces and transported them to Lancaster for the sand casting work.


The Durst Organization, founded in 1915 by Joseph Durst, is the owner, manager and builder of 13 million square feet of premiere Manhattan office towers and 1,950 residential rental units with 2,400 under development. The Durst Organization is recognized as a world leader in the development of high-performance and environmentally advanced commercial and residential buildings.


Jay Lagemann is a renowned Martha’s Vineyard-based sculptor who has been producing art for the past 40 years. He works in a variety of mediums, including steel, bronze, cement, fiberglass, plaster, driftwood and clay, to create textured pieces that evoke joy. His sculptures, many of which pay homage to life on Martha’s Vineyard, are represented in private collections, sculpture gardens and museums across the country. Mr. Lagemann is represented by The Granary Gallery and The Field Gallery, both in West Tisbury, Massachusetts.

PHOTOS: Rick Kariolic


Jordan Barowitz

Publication The Durst Organization
Date 2017-05-09
Author The Durst Organization