You could live to one hundred and never be struck by the artistic bug like the creator of Prairie Moon.
Herman Rusch, who did live to be one hundred, bought the former Prairie Moon dance hall and "to kill old-age boredom" turned it into a museum of oddities he had collected, like a goat-powered washing machine. Then in 1958, to make the site more inviting, he transformed the grounds into a sculpted concrete wonderland.
Dinosaurs and a huge snake, a castle tower and rocket share the grounds with Rusch's self-portrait. But what is most striking are the fences and decorative arches. With their gold cones, each column also resembles a rocket, but the colored mosiac glass and polka dotted arches are as festive as Fourth of July fireworks.
You can see it for yourself in our Quicktime panoramic tour.
The site fell into disrepair after Rusch's death in 1985, and has been preserved through the efforts of the Kohler Foundation. But Herman Rusch lived long enough to enjoy recognition in his lifetime. In 1974 the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis featured his work in an exhibit title "Naives and Visionaries."
The sculptural world Rusch created kept him active nearly into his nineties, satisfied his creative impulses, and provided a draw for visitors to his museum. Rusch was a visionary who was hardly naive.