Beautiful gardens, hundreds of amazing art sculptures, and plenty of kid-friendly and adult-approved things to see, the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township is worth a visit.
When the kids and I visited the world’s largest tooth in Princeton last year, we had NO idea what was just down the road. Luckily a recent mention in New Jersey Monthly magazine clued us into Grounds for Sculpture, because it was well worth a visit.
The brainchild of Seward Johnson, it is 42 acres of beautifully maintained landscaping and gardens with art sculptures around every corner. As their Mission Statement notes, they wanted “to create a place to make contemporary sculpture more accessible to greater numbers of people from all backgrounds; to offer them the opportunity to develop privately, step-by step, a more intimate relationship with contemporary art; to share that experience with others in a familiar, accessible, informal setting in nature—giving them the chance, as Picasso said, to wash away “from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Everything from small sculptures to giant towering “monument” pieces like the Marilyn Monroe. This particular statue took three years to make and traveled the country (in four separate pieces) before it came back here to stay. There are some cool photographs inside one of the buildings showing the making of this particular statue, and also showing it broken down into pieces, traveling on various highways.
Located on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds, construction on Johnson’s vision began in 1989, and opened to the public three years later. Over the years, art, buildings, and exhibits have been added, and Grounds for Sculpture has been non-profit since 2000. There are nearly 300 sculptures throughout the property, many historical in nature, spanning the weird to the wonderful.
And a photographers’ dream, natch.