Last month, while my BFF was visiting, we headed over to Grounds For Sculpture on a very cold January day.
Grounds for Sculpture was founded in 1984 by artist J Steward Johnson. Johnson was a sculptor and painter who had the idea that modern art and sculpture should be widely accessible. His work is mainly life-sized bronze sculptures depicting people in everyday situations or in the style of famous paintings such as Claude Monet's "On Poppied Hill" (above).
Johnson was born in New Jersey and started building GfS there in 1989. It's sprawling grounds are filled with his own work as well as many other modern sculptors.
Personally, I think Johnson's work is very creepy, but I really enjoyed walking around the grounds and stumbling upon his life-like work. All the sculpture ion the grounds were neat and it was punctuated by being startled by Johnson's weird people made it all the more exciting. Besides the outdoor sculpture, there were several warming stations with fireplaces and circular motifs, restaurants made to look like Parisian cafes, doors that lead no where, etc.. Peacocks roamed the grounds freely.
We decided that the whole place reminded us of the the island of Myst from the old 90s game.
There are a few buildings on the grounds, some closed to the public for artists, and others housing indoor work and changing exhibits.
In the main entrance building, there was a large gallery of Johnson's work. In one room he had assembled many tea trays that he had painted over the years. In another he recreated Van Gogh's bedroom.
The day we visited was bitter cold, but it was nice to see the works in a freezing and barren landscape. Grounds For Sculpture will be a good place to keep my eye on for changing exhibits and I'm excited to see the grounds in the warmer weather.
Grounds For Sculpture is known for being pretty close to NYC, and an easy day trip. It was a breeze to get there from Asbury Park. It's very close to Princeton NJ. I think the two combined would make a great day out.