Sculpture in the Grass

GroundsForSculpture 114

A visit to Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey

Rest assured that I have not been sneaking about the woods spying on romantic young couples!  Pictured above is an amazingly life-like metallic sculpture by painter, sculptor, and philanthropist J. Seward Johnson II.  (As in Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids.)

Johnson first conceived the idea in 1984 of a public sculpture garden where people could experience contemporary art in a relaxed and informal setting.  Construction began in 1989 on the former site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds in Hamilton, New Jersey, and Grounds for Sculpture opened to the public in 1992.  There are over 270 works, with many by Johnson himself but also many by other well-known artists.  It is a not-for-profit public corporation that is supported by visitor’s fees, donations, and grants.

One of the great features of the park that I particularly enjoyed, is Johnson’s own 3-dimensional renderings of characters and other elements from famous impressionist paintings.  My favorite example of this is a sculpture / scene entitled “Were You Invited?”  This is a 3-D and life-size interpretation of Renoir’s “The Luncheon of The Boating Party”, and it is great fun!  You can walk around it, peek into it, and feel as though you are part of the party!  (Regrets that I did not get a picture of this piece.)

Here is a link to the Grounds for Sculpture website.

I found this to be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!  Be aware that most of the art is outdoors, so keep the weather report in mind.  There are several dining options ranging from café style for a coffee and a pastry up to more substantial fair such as hot soups and made-to-order sandwiches.  Adult admission for me was $15.  There are plenty of restrooms, free parking, and a very nice museum gift shop.   I actually made the decision to NOT try to see everything during my first visit because I realized right away that I wanted to come back soon with Mrs. Working Stiff.

Enjoy the pictures!


The Working Stiff

3 thoughts on “Sculpture in the Grass”

  1. This is a great post, Miles! I always thought this would be an interesting place to visit, but now I am very eager to go! I have always imagined that the sculptures would be marble/stone, which is nice, but this is infinitely more fascinating. I’ve shared the link to this post. Thank you!

  2. Wow! Let’s go out there so like I had to take a double look. I think my favorite though is The Girl With the Pearl Earring. I think that would be a fun place to go and visit. It was a good idea not to see it all and the first time. It sounds like it’s definitely an all day adventure to go visit and I think I mrs. workingstiff would enjoy it too. I really enjoy reading your posts. I find them both fascinating and educational. I don’t know where you find these unique places but I can’t wait to see your next post. Great post Miles.

  3. I love Grounds for Sculpture! Great photos you captured, Miles. It really is a unique place. The replica of Monet’s water lilies pond is lovely, with picnic tables along the bank. Lots of winding walking paths with interactive art along the way. Beautiful and unique items in the Gift Shop. On a scale of 1-10, this rates a 10 in my book. : )

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