Philip Grausman, ‘Leucantha’, 1993, metal: aluminum, 108 in x 118 in x 118 in, 1/3, Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier, © Artist’s Estate, photo: David Michael Howarth Photography

Grounds for Sculpture, Where Nature and Art Come Together
If you want to spend a fine spring day near New York, how about an art-themed day at Grounds for Sculpture? It’s a unique outdoor space showing off all types of sculptures.
It can be still a bit chilly in March in New York, but it’s also around this time that the excitement and anticipation for spring start to grow. Brooklyn Botanic Garden and other places that usher in the spring begin to draw attraction of New Yorkers this time of year. Grounds for Sculpture, located in Hamilton, New Jersey, about an hour drive from Manhattan, is a perfect place to visit on a warm spring day. Flowers that bloom in the new season provide a nice backdrop to sculptural works in the park, as nature and art come together for a delightful visit.

The park seen from above

Stone statues, straight out of a shrine / Carlos Dorrien, ‘The Nine Muses,’ 1990-97, granite, 132 in x 240 in x 360 in, Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier, © Artist or Artist’s Estate, photo: David W. Steele

Sculptures fit in so seamlessly with nature that they feel like a part of the park. / Walter Dusenbery, ‘Damascus Gate,’ 2002, travertine, 240 in x 176 in x 51 inches, Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier, © Artist or Artist’s Estate, photo: David Michael Howarth Photography

Seward Johnson, Founder of New Jersey’s Top Sculpture Park
John Seward Johnson Jr. Is the American sculptor and founder of Grounds for Sculpture. He is a grandson of Robert Wood Johnson, the co-founder of Johnson & Johnson, the consumer healthcare brand. Seward Johnson once worked at Johnson & Johnson, before turning to painting and later sculpture. He built an atelier in Hamilton and then founded the signature sculpture park on the East Coast.

You can touch and interact with sculptures. / Magdalena Abakanowicz, 'Space of Stone', 2002, stone: Barre grey granite, Pennsylvania black granite, 152 in x 181 ft x 69 ft, Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier, © Artist’s Estate, photo: David Michael Howarth Photography

Seward Johnson made his name sculptures inspired by living people, impressionist films and life-size statutes of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, using bronze castings. Some critics dismissed Johnson’s works as kitsch, but his realistic renderings of living figures and sculptures depicting well-known scenes from films made him an immesnely popular artist.

Seward Johnson works, with a nod to Matisse / Day Dream © Seward Johnson works

Sculptures add beauty to the park. William T. Wiley, ‘To Marcel Duchamp, 1887-1968, Artist, Tool and Die Maker’, 1968, stainlesssteel, 84 x 112 x 90 inches, Original Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sabol,© Artist’s Estate, photo: David W. Steele

Grounds for Sculpture, Full of Fun Events
Opened in 1992, Grounds for Sculpture covers some 170,000㎡. It sits on the former site of the state expos, and is one of the largest sculpture parks in America. In addition to pieces by Seward Johnson, some 300 modern sculptures by George Segal, Anthony Caro and Bernar Benet, among some distinguished and up-and-coming aritsts, are on display. The park has expanded its contemporary collection by adding Wilie Cole’s ‘Pretty in Pink’ and Bruce Beasley’s ‘Horizon II.’ The pond seems straight out of a garden in Monet’s impressionist painting. Other must-see pieces include ‘Déjeuner Déjà Vu,’ the sculptural rendition of Manet’s ‘Le Déjeuner sur I’herbe,’ and Seward Johnson’s recreation of classic paintings, including ‘La Danse’ by Matisse. The six indoor galleries that host new exhibitions have showcased some 700 artists so far.

Manet’s work has been tranformed into a multidimensional sculpture. / Dejeuner Deja Vu © Seward Johnson works

The summer is perhaps the best time to visit, with colorful wild flowers in full bloom in the 28,000㎡ garden called ‘Meadow.’ But the park flaunts its unique charm in different seasons. The spring is highlighted by cherry blossoms, magnolia and azalea. In the autumn, the Red Maple Allee paints the park red with its foliage. The winter garden, filled with evergreens, brings unique wintry beauty.

Klip Collective’s works, more beautiful when viewed at night. / Klip Collective, mind.fract, and Masayuki Koorida, Memory, 2011, granite, 88.58 x 49.21 x 49.21 inches, Courtesy of the Artist, photo: Ken Ek

Klip Collective, cheat.code, and Bruce Beasley, Dorion, 1986, stainless steel, 1/2, 240 x 360 x 120 inches, Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier, photo: David Michael Howarth Photography

Klip Collective, RGB/Froghead Rainbow, and Michelle Post, The Oligarchs, 2014, cast aluminum, 76 inches x 40 feet x 6 feet, Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier photo: David Michael Howarth Photography

Enjoying the Park in Spring
, a multi-sensory, immersive exhibition, is a hugely popular event ongoing at Grounds for Sculptue. Lighting, sound and video projection mapping designed by Klip Collective offer fresh perspectives on sculptures and trees in the evening hours.
The spring program for 2023 will get underway at the end of April, highlighted by , an exhibition shedding light on the indigenous communities in New Jersey, and , about the namesake Philadelphia troupe that organizes street parades featuring puppets carrying political and social messages. There will also be ‘Family Open Studios’ for families, ‘First Sign of Spring,’ a tour of the garden welcoming the new season, horticulture classes, and Tai Chi classes.

You can enjoy a multidimensional, immersive exhibition outdoors. Klip Collective, dream.glitch at Grounds For Sculpture, photo: Ken Ek

Try booking a table for lunch at Rat’s, a French restaurant famous for its beautiful patio. A delicious lunch under the warm spring sun in the patio will make your visit to Grounds for Sculpture even more memorable.

Address 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ
Inquiry +1-609-586-0616


Where to Stay in New York: LOTTE NEW YORK PALACE
LOTTE NEW YORK PALACE is housed in the late 19th-century mansion built by the financier Henry Villard, while also featuring a 55-story modern tower. It has appeared in popular U.S. TV show and several other films, and has become a must-stop destination in New York. It has 909 rooms, with a beautiful courtyard inspired by the 15th-century Italian cathedral, restaurant Villard, luxury salon Rarities, and cocktail bar Trouble’s Trust.

Address 455 Madison Avenue at 50th St., New York
Phone +1-800-804-7035
March 2023 Editor:Jung Jaewook
Writer:Jung Jaehoon

Where to stay?

  • March 2023
  • Editor: Jung Jaewook
    Writer: Jung Jaehoon
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