Grounds for Sculpture - a mini trip report

Old May 28th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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Grounds for Sculpture - a mini trip report

As there will be no European trip for me this year and the weather has finally turned nice I've decided to take a series of day trips in the NY, NJ, and PA area.

Last week I ventured to Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ for the second time. It was even better this time as I was familiar with the site and the weather was perfect.

Grounds for sculpture covers 35 acres and is filled with fabulous contemporary sculpture. Some pieces are large and easily visible; but you have to look for others, hidden behind hedges and doors and around walls. The terrain is wonderfully diverse with rolling grass knolls (and you’re allowed to walk on the grass) and concrete and dirt paths cutting throughout the grounds. There’s lots of trees and shrubs giving plenty of shade and lots of benches for rest or contemplation. You’ll walk over Monet’s bridge with a misty spray rising up, almost enveloping the woman bathing on the bank of the pond, a sculpture inspired by Renoir’s “After the Bath.”

Most of my favorite works are those by J. Seward Johnson who is known for sculpting ordinary people doing ordinary things and for sculpturally representing famous paintings such as The Boating Party" and "Terrasse at Ste-Adresse." In the café garden you’ll notice a man and a woman already seated at a table with a waiter hovering in the background, ready to pour their coffee, based on Manet’s painting “At Pere Lathuille’s.” There's something wonderful to be discovered everywhere you turn.

Link to photos:
http://modigliani.site.shutterfly.com/
adrienne is offline  
Old May 28th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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adrienne,

Thanks for the fascinating report and for taking the time to include photos and pictures of the paintings to match the sculpture.

I'd like to visit this place sometime so I've added a link incase others are interested.


http://www.groundsforsculpture.org/
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Old May 28th, 2008, 11:10 AM
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thanks both of you - bookmarking this for the future - wonderful information !
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Old May 28th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Fantastic! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I've definitely added Grounds for Sculpture to the top of our one-day trip list!
Are you including a trip to Storm King in Cornwall, NY? It's definitely a must-see for any sculpture enthusiast.
Also, the Kendall Sculpture Gardens at the Pepsico headquarters in Purchase NY and Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate in Pocantico Hills, NY.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 12:27 PM
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I love the Grounds for Sculpture. I like to go in the late afternoon and walk around, then have dinner at Kafe Kabul at Rat's Restaurant (Rat's is decent, but super expensive) and then walk around again in the dark. The sculptures are lit beautifully and it's a whole new feel.

To check out Kafe Kabul

http://www.ratsrestaurant.org/ratsre...?page=4&sub=39
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Old May 28th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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Thanks for the extra links!

I've been to Kykuit but hadn't thought about Storm King or Kendall. There's so much in this area to see and do!
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Old May 28th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Thanks for posting, adrienne! I've heard wonderful things about Grounds for Sculpture from my son. I can't wait to visit!
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Old May 29th, 2008, 08:22 AM
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HowardR, looks like the long weekend I was planning to include a visit to the Grounds for Sculpture will have to be extended!

Thanks mei the food looks go too!
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Old May 29th, 2008, 05:01 PM
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In addition to Rats and Mei’s link to Kafe Kabul restaurants (both of which look great) there is another more moderately-priced café at the end of the parking lot with both indoor and outdoor seating. They serve light lunches – sandwiches, salads, desserts and the food is good. The bookshop is in this building.

I forgot to mention that besides all the outdoor sculpture there are two buildings with sculpture inside (the building with the café and book shop has an exhibit upstairs). I didn’t see the indoor art this time as the weather was too good to be inside. My first trip was on a warm, humid day so we cooled off looking at some of the indoor sculpture and saw a wedding party arrive in the late afternoon. It would be so cool to have a wedding at Grounds for Sculpture!
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Old May 30th, 2008, 04:42 AM
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Great pictures, thanks for posting. I really liked how you included a picture of the painting after the pictures of Johnson's sculptures.

The Grounds for Sculpture is a hidden gem. I've been twice and realize I haven't seen everything - there are all kinds of sculptures hidden in all sorts of nooks and unexpected places.

adrienne, I'm going to forward your comments to my parents b/c we've been talking about going to the sculpture garden for Father's Day.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 07:23 AM
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Have visited Grounds for Sculpture many times and each visit is different. They change or add special works, and their indoor exhibits are usually very interesting.

The less expensive outdoor cafe is wonderful, too, as the Japanese maples form a complete canopy of leaves. If you think you hear a person screaming in distress, it's most likely one of the beautiful peacocks that roam the grounds.

Keep an eye out for the sculpture that lines the roads from the time you exit Rt 195.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 08:06 AM
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I'll have to add this to our list of local places to visit, sounds wonderful. Thanks for the link and the info.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Clousie - the peacocks were squawking in full force the day I was there. They were also flying into the trees and from branch branch. I was amazed that birds with do many feathers could get off the ground. I didn't realize peacocks could fly!

karens - you'll have a great time there on Father's Day - it's a unique place to take your dad!
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