Jene Highstein was born in Baltimore, MD in 1942. He received his BA in Philosophy at the University of Maryland in 1963, and attended the University of Chicago’s postgraduate program in Philosophy from 1963-1965. In 1970, he received a graduate degree from the Royal Academy of Art, London. Highstein lived and worked in New York, until his death in 2013. Highstein’s numerous projects include monumental sculptures, towers, pavilions and amphitheaters in both public and private spaces. Highstein is included in the permanent collections of numerous museums among them: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York to name a few.
Cape Breton was a place where many of his friends had bought land in the 1960s although he visited it for the first time in 2002 and instantly fell in love. It reminded him of the idyllic holidays of his youth although the landscape was northern and very different. He loved the “wildness” and “remoteness” of Nova Scotia, the restless, constantly changing weather that re-drew sky, sea, and earth. Above all, he loved the light. So he, too, bought land, spending parts of summers and sometimes other seasons in this private arcadia.
“Cape Breton Island is connected to the northern most tip of Nova Scotia by a causeway. The weather can come from any of four directions & usually shifts every 20 minutes. The sky & sea are constantly changing color as the sun comes in & out & rain alternates with clouds & fog. It’s a magical landscape.” JENE HIGHSTEIN