grounds for sculpture 7

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).

Grounds for Sculpture_Impressionist_New Jersey_Hamilton Township,jpg

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

Image via Wikimedia CommonsGoogle Cultural Institute
Renoir's The Luncheon of the Boating Party 1

Renoir's The Luncheon of the Boating Party 2

2.  Claude Monet’s Bridge over a Pool of Water Lilies

Monet's bridge

Monet's Bridge 2

3. Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner Sur L’herbe

Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner Sur L'herbeImage via Wikimedia CommonsPublic Domain

Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner Sur L'herbe 1

Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner Sur L'herbe 2

Edouard Manet’s Le Dejeuner Sur L'herbe 3

4.  Claude Monet’s La Terrasse A  Sainte-Adresse

Monet's Terrace at Sainte-Adresse 2

Monet's Terrace at Sainte-Adresse 3

Monet's Terrace at Sainte-Adresse 4

Monet's Terrace at Sainte-Adresse 1

5. Henri Rousseau’s The Dream

henri rousseau the dreamImage via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain 

rousseau the gram

6.  Gustave  Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day

Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street; Rainy DayImage via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain 

caillebotte's Paris Street; Rainy Day

7.  Edouard Manet’s Argenteuil

Edouard Manet ArgenteuilImage via Wikimedia Commons,  EPPH

Manet's argenteuil

8. Edouard Manet’s Chez Pere Lathuille

Edouard Manet Chez Pere LathuilleImage via Wikimedia Commons, The Yorck Project
manet's at pere lathuille 1

manet's at pere lathuille 2

9. Henri Matisse’s Dance


mattise's dance

10.  Edouard Manet’s In the Winter Garden

Image via Wikimedia CommonsGoogle Cultural Institute

manet's in the winter garden

11. Clause Monet’s Woman with a Parasol

Image via Wikimedia CommonsGoogle Cultural Institute

monet's woman with parasol

12.  Edvard Munch’s The Scream

Image via Wikimedia CommonsGoogle Cultural Institute
Munch's The Scream

13. Pierre-Auguste  Renoir’s On the Terrace

Image via Wikimedia CommonsHermitage Torrent

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s On the Terrace

14. Pierre-Auguste  Renoir’s After the Bath

Image via Wikimedia Commons, Wikiart

Renoir's after the bath

15.  Pierre-Auguste  Renoir’s Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Renoir's Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise

16.  Vincent van Gogh’s  Tarascon Diligence

Image via Wikimedia

van gogh's tarascon diligence 1

van gogh's tarascon diligence 2

Know what else is in New Jersey?  Napoleon’s Penis.

Grounds for Sculpture
Hamilton Township, NJ  08619

2 thoughts on “Grounds for Sculpture: an Impressionist Oasis in New Jersey

  1. Dear Writer/Editor of,

    Would someone gladly consider removing or relocating question about Napoleon’s body part. I am taking an online art course and was referring the wonderful article by Benjamin Waldman to my friends when I was shocked to find that particular question at the very end of the photos in the article.

    Normally as an adult I wouldn’t object, but this article, except for the question would be a fine research piece about the Grounds for Sculpture Museum which I visited about three weeks ago. Older students could use the bulk of the article, but please consider placing the question somewhere else on the site to avoid phone calls from parents.

    Thank you.

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