Grounds for Sculpture: A New Jersey Treasure

The sculptures start appearing well before the main gate, dotting abandoned lots, sprouting from sidewalks, accompanying signs. Grounds for Sculpture  offers about 250 works of art—in media hardy enough to withstand the elements – set on more than 40 acres of former state fairgrounds in southern New Jersey.

Scattered amid seasonal gardens, bamboo trees and small ponds, the sculptures range from very contemporary and abstract to renditions of Impressionist art. Strolling through the paths, many semi-hidden, feels like entering a painting by Renoir, Monet, Manet and others.

I’d chaperoned an 8th grade field trip to Grounds for Sculpture years ago and had wanted to return. Mother’s Day provided the perfect excuse—that plus an injured hamstring that kept me off the bike!

Founded by sculptor and philantropist J. Seward Johnson  the park opened in 1992. While most of the sculptures are outside, the curators utilize former fairground buildings for works whose materials wouldn’t withstand changing weather.

Truly a New Jersey treasure.

 We heard a man say to a little boy, “leave them alone, they’re sleeping.”

This is a sculpture.

 This is Seward Johnson’s latest sculpture. There’s a contest to name it.

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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15 Responses to Grounds for Sculpture: A New Jersey Treasure

  1. Whitney Estrin says:

    Fantastic! I can’t wait to go there!

    Like

  2. Northern Narratives says:

    These are great 🙂

    Like

  3. Barbara klein says:

    Have you visited the Pepsico sculpture in Rye, New York? This is even more exciting. Includes emotion and humor. Love Mom.

    Like

  4. How lovely. I used to go to the sculpture garden when I lived in Chattanooga. This is even larger. I can’t wait to go.

    Like

  5. zannyro says:

    Very,very cool!

    Like

  6. valleygirl96 says:

    Those are so cool! Thanks for the great pictures!

    Like

  7. Malou says:

    Beautiful place to bring the kids for a bit of excursion. 😉

    Like

  8. Leah says:

    Great pictures! I especially love the one of you sitting with the statues.

    Like

  9. jakesprinter says:

    Excellent Lisa I love your post 🙂

    Like

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