Located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey (just outside of Trenton), Grounds for Sculpture is one of the world’s most impressive sculpture gardens. While Grounds for Sculpture possesses a wide array of Modernist sculptures and manicured landscapes, they are far from what make it unique. As you’ll see below, Grounds for Sculpture is home to a bizarre set of sculptural recreations of Impressionist paintings.
It was founded in 1992 by John Seward Johnson II and occupies 35 acres of what was once the State Fairgrounds. Incredibly, the original fair charter for the land was given by King George II in 1745. Some of the former fair buildings are now utilized by Grounds for Sculpture. The park holds a collection of over 240 works, many of which are displayed throughout the park’s bucolic grounds. Grounds for Sculpture is a magical place, and is a perfect way to spend the day by yourself, on a date, or even to propose (as I witnessed there).
Seward Johnson (as he is known) is the grandson of Robert Wood Johnson I, one of the co-founders of Johnson & Johnson. He not only created Grounds for Sculpture, but also provided it with some of his iconic life-size bronze statues. Beyond the Frame was Johnson’s series of sculptures based on Impressionist paintings. The sculptures cause visitors to feel as if they have fallen through the looking glass where the landscapes and characters from famous paintings have come to life.
Presented below are the original Impressionist paintings followed by Johnson’s sculptures:
1. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party
2. Claude Monet’s Bridge over a Pool of Water Lilies
3. Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner Sur L’herbe
4. Claude Monet’s La Terrasse A Sainte-Adresse
5. Henri Rousseau’s The Dream
6. Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day
7. Edouard Manet’s Argenteuil
8. Edouard Manet’s Chez Pere Lathuille
9. Henri Matisse’s Dance
10. Edouard Manet’s In the Winter Garden
11. Clause Monet’s Woman with a Parasol
12. Edvard Munch’s The Scream
13. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s On the Terrace
14. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s After the Bath
15. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise
16. Vincent van Gogh’s Tarascon Diligence
Know what else is in New Jersey? Napoleon’s Penis.
Grounds for Sculpture
Hamilton Township, NJ 08619