An ordinary person might dismiss a discarded car muffler as trash, but Donald Landsman looks at an old tailpipe and sees the elegant line of a ballet dancer in arabesque or the form of a baseball player sliding home. That artistic perspective and a quirky sense of humor are evident in the whimsical sculptures Landsman has been creating for thirty-five years out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts. "I see a piece of metal and it suggests something to me," the sculptor says.
Landsman's sculptures turn his eleven-acre property in backcountry Greenwich into a wooded wonderland of discovery and delight and lend a sprightly energy to the art-filled rooms of his 1929 Norman-style home. A retired importer and distributor of Worth fragrances and Rigaud candles and accessories, Landsman and his wife, Miriam, a floral designer who operates Miriam Landsman Beautiful Flowers from home, have lived in the house overlooking the Putnam Reservoir for more than twenty years. His pride and joy of late are the magnificent interlocking bronze gates and fence that look like twigs arching crazily upward. The fence is a replica of a much smaller one he designed years ago as a garden enclosure just off the kitchen. With Landsman constantly overseeing the project, Jozef Custom Ironworks of Bridgeport did the welding of the gates and fence, which measures seven feet high including a stone-wall base.
"We didn't want to disturb the beautiful view toward the reservoir, but we needed a fence because the deer eat us out. This blends in with the background and that was the idea," Landsman says.