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Joseph Beuys, 7000 Oaks

West 22nd Street between and including 10th and 11th Avenues, New York

A vertical basalt stone installed next to a tree on a New York City sidewalk. Sidewalk is in front of a brick building with a glass door. To the left of the door, raised grey letters spell

Joseph Beuys, 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) (detail), inaugurated in 1982 and ongoing. © Joseph Beuys/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York


Joseph Beuys’s project 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) began in 1982 at Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany. His plan called for the planting of 7,000 trees—each paired with a columnar basalt stone approximately four feet high and positioned above ground—throughout the greater city of Kassel. With major support from Dia Art Foundation, the project was carried forward under the auspices of the Free International University and took five years to complete; the last tree was planted at the opening of Documenta 8 in 1987. Beuys intended for the Kassel project to be the first stage in an ongoing scheme of tree planting that would extend throughout the world as part of a global mission to spark environmental and social change. Locally, the action was a gesture toward urban renewal. 

In 1988 Dia installed five basalt stone columns paired with five trees outside 548 West 22nd Street, expanding 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) to New York City. In 1996 Dia extended the installation by planting twenty-five new trees, each paired with a basalt stone, along West 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. At this time, Dia also added seven stones next to preexisting trees, bringing the project’s total to thirty-seven pairings. Coinciding with the renovation of Dia Chelsea in 2020–21, one more pair was added, bringing the total to thirty-eight. Species of trees represented include Bradford Callery pear, common hackberry, ginkgo, Japanese pagoda, Japanese zelkova, littleleaf linden, pin oak, sycamore, and thornless honeylocust.

7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) is located outside on West 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues in New York City.

Due to construction on West 22nd Street, several basalt stones from 7,000 Oaks have been temporarily removed.

Open year-round

Admission is free


Joseph Beuys


Joseph Beuys was born in Krefeld, Germany, in 1921. He died in Düsseldorf in 1986.

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Photo: Don Stahl

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