Grounds For Sculpture

Yesterday we visited a wonderful place called Grounds for Sculpture. Here is some background: In 1984, Seward Johnson, sculptor and philanthropist, and heir to the immense medical products fortune of Johnson & Johnson, founded by his grandfather, envisioned a public sculpture garden and museum in Hamilton, NJ. His desire was to make contemporary sculpture accessible and offer people from all backgrounds the opportunity to become comfortable with contemporary art. Grounds For Sculpture was conceived as a place where people could experience sculpture in an accessible and informal setting. Construction on the sculpture park began in 1989 on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds, consisting of 42 acres, and opened to the general public in 1992. The park is now exhibiting over 270 works, including sculptures of life-size cast bronze figures, some 27 feet tall, and many replicating scenes from famous works of art by Monet, Renoir and Manet.

I found the park to be a true oasis, part garden, part fantasy, all beauty. We roamed through areas of grass and manicured flowers, under arbors of vines and stalks of bamboo. We came upon Seward Johnson’s interpretation of  Edouard Manet’s ‘Déjeuner Sur L’Herbe’110107Henri Rousseau’s ‘The Dream’ (this version including husband)081 (2)

Claude Monet’s “Woman with a Parasol”117Then there was the 27 foot sculpture based on a photo taken by Victor Jorgensen of the VJ Day Kiss in Times Square. Note how tiny the people standing under it are in comparison069and Marilyn Monroe from the Seven Year Itch040

Seward Johnson also has a collection of ordinary people engaged in everyday activities, which are a bit disconcerting when you come upon them as they are so lifelike. We did mistake real people for statues as we walked the park, if someone was standing still or sitting on one of the many benches or chairs you couldn’t always tell who was real and who was not. Can you tell if the man sitting in the leaves is real? (He’s not)

032The park encourages people to touch the sculptures and check them out closely, which of course we had some fun with011 20150802_113533 20150802_135738 023 099

Though I still couldn’t get Mona Lisa to crack a smilememona

22 thoughts on “Grounds For Sculpture

  1. I have to go back there soon, it’s been 3 years and obviously many more things to look at.
    Love your photos


  2. So you did get there after all. After seeing them on display in NYC, and finding out where the exhibit was located we put it on our to do list. Glad you enjoyed it. It looks like a fun place and Hamilton isn’t too bad of a ride. Great photos😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was worth the ride, an hour 20 minutes from us. We only covered a small portion of the ground in the 3 hours we were there. We took a tour-included with admission- which was very helpful and informative. It is really a wonderful place.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t that hysterical? The sculpture was purposely made with a little place to walk behind so you can get right in there! It is a magical place, and we only covered a small portion of the 42 acres! So much to see

      Liked by 1 person

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