I found myself in a dream world and just thinking about that day makes me giddy. Sculpture parks are one of my favorite places to be because I love art, especially modern art, and being able to run around like a pony in large open fields with fresh air. It’s the perfect mix. So on our way back from Philadelphia my mom and I stopped at Grounds For Sculpture [80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619] and we were exposed to one of the most amazing sculpture parks ever!
Initially the space seems huge, but that might be due to my sheer excitement. It is a large plot of land, but very walkable. To begin with, the grounds are full of natural beauty. Peacocks are everywhere, fiery koi in the ponds, and the perfect arrangement of trees, bushes, and vines looked magical even in the middle of winter.
I yearned to discover every inch of this expanse. Amazing sights lurk in every corner, leave no stone unturned. Normally I love to have a map, and you get one when you buy your ticket. This day I had to ditch it and just wander. This way I found many of my favorite works bizarre and eclectic.
Stumble into the bamboo forest and find an entrance, slightly hidden, to an observation tower.
Run around the Forest of the Subconscious, who knows what you may realize.
I love an open door. Enter any number of intriguing huts. A concave and convex comparison of ‘The Scream’ and ‘Silencio’ was an interesting sight, we were quite surprised that we could enter the Chamber of Internal Dialogue.
Even though it was a warm December day, running around outside for hours can leave you with quite a chill. We were shocked to find another open door of a lovely tower leading to just a sitting room, blissfully warm with an actual fireplace.
There are other buildings filled with more interesting sights, so much to see.
The park stays open pretty late, which is a great thing because it was getting dark. We were almost finished and made our last stop the main building, where we had purchased our tickets a few hours earlier. Inside a whole new world of though provoking perspectives.
Now aside huge sculptures there were little details and decorative arts as well.
Spending an entire day here wouldn’t be hard at all, there are multiple restaurants on the premises to choose from – all exceptionally decorated. The most noticeable work inside and outside of the park comes from the artist and founder of Grounds For Sculpture, Seward Johnson. His larger than life bronze sculptures are strangely familiar and captivating.
Coming upon the first one of its kind I almost mistook it for a person. Mission accomplished, as Johnson states “I want my work to disappear into the landscape and then take a viewer by surprise.”
His works fall into three categories: familiar man on the street, icons revisited based upon images of the collective unconscious, and beyond the frame (inspired by impressionist paintings – which may explain the familiarity of certain sculptures). Johnson quotes Picasso explaining his dream for the public, “to wash away ‘from the soul the dust of everyday life’” when visiting the park. This enchanting adventure surely whisked me far away from the norm.