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.