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Grounds for Sculpture


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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 02:53 PM

NY Times has an article today about the evolution of this park-like facility, originated by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. What started out as an exhibition has expanded into the surrounding towns.

Hamilton seems to be leaking sculpture.

There is the one in front of the Hamilton Supply store depicting a father teaching a child to ride a bike, and the bike always seems about to teeter into traffic. Newcomers often tap their brakes when they round the turn and see it, there on the sidewalk.

Fifth graders from South Harrison, N.J., toured the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton this month. "Beautiful and weird," one student said.

Then, just up the road, there is the immense pale yellow molar, with evil, twisted roots. Or the parade of silver soldiers on horseback that countless passengers have seen beside the Northwest Corridor train tracks.


Art Explosion

Rat's Restaurant, located within the Grounds, is a pleasant addition to a visit. There's a formal space, and the informal Kafe Kabul

Rat's

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#2 Deb Van D

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 03:30 PM

I just love this place. Started going a couple of years ago when there was an addictive Chihuly installation and got caught up in the grounds. It is all the more surprising because it is on the butt end of nowhere.

One moment you are walking past a water-lily pond and feel like you are in Giverny, with mists rising around your ankles and another you will take a turn along an embankment and find yourself in the midst of a life-sized installation of Renoir's boating party. It is stunning and laugh out loud fun.

The restaurant with the whimsical if unappetizing name of Ratís is quite lovely. Kafe Kabul is a charming lounge, packed with color, casual and comfortable, where the prices are more appealing and the food is very, very good.

Worth a trip.
Using salt and pepper is a good, inexpensive way to put flavor in your food. Sandra Lee

#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 11:06 PM

The Sunday Washington Post has an article about Grounds for Sculpture. More about the whimsy incorporated into the layout. Secret paths, sculptures looking back at the viewer, recreations of Impressionist work, etc.

Outside, paths take visitors into a world where art and nature collude and sometimes collide. There are pieces from some of the world's most famous sculptors -- George Segal, Sir Anthony Caro, Magdalena Abakanowicz -- and by more obscure artists. There are traditional statues and abstract works. There are colors and shapes and forms at every turn, in every clearing, and the sculptures aren't all on pedestals in clearly marked spaces. To see some of them -- indeed, to even know some are there -- you have to work.

Nowhere is Johnson's penchant for seclusion more apparent than in a sequence of pieces not far down one of the main paths. Amid a tangle of bushes sits a stone archway leading to a dark, narrow tunnel. The effect is intentionally foreboding -- there's even a sculpture of a gorilla nearly hidden among the bushes.



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“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#4 Rail Paul

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 03:00 PM

The Star-Ledger has an article about the park today. Attendance is up significantly, and a large number of community engaging functions have been launched. J. Seward Johnson, the visionary, has scaled back his role as the public board and other sources step in to run the facilities.

"We'll continue to come in," Johnson said of his financial support, "but we hope to be squeezing that down. For the first time, Rat's has broken even. That's because we keep such high standards, very expensive standards."

Rat's restaurant -- named for the hospitable Ratty in the children's classic "Wind in the Willows" -- serves caviar to the sounds of live jazz at brunch. Its fine dining is a major draw for the park, said An drea Fabry, chief executive officer. For that reason, more museum events, such as the artists' lecture series, will be moved inside the res taurant this year.

The elaborate park grounds include courtyards, sculpture walls, an amphitheater, reflecting pools and a three-story outdoor gazebo overlooking a pond. Two spaces -- the Museum and the Domestic Arts Building -- house exhibitions, and there is a museum shop and cafe.

In its 15-year existence, Grounds for Sculpture has not suffered any cutbacks, according to Fabry. But the nonprofit weathered a tough financial climate after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.



Grounds for Sculpture

The last part of the article discusses the fate of the atelier and foundry. The center no longer has students, and Mr Johnson sends his computer drawings to developing countries for casting. He sees the future of the casting business in the US as bleak.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#5 helena

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 05:14 PM

This place is magical: we tend to go almost every month.



And the current exhibition of glass artist Richard Jolley is not to be missed by those who are local and like the genre.


"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#6 Rail Paul

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 10:14 PM

Your timely reminder caused us to visit GfS today, Helena. As always, it was a great delight.

I was quite surprised at the number of mothers and au pairs with toddlers and infants. Kids all over, engaging with the art, and shrieking with delight at the many surprises. The peacocks, in particular, drew a crowd of little ones as they moved around the property.

It seems like the neighborhood has sprouted a few more giant pieces, or perhaps I noticed a few that hadn't been apparent before. Many large pieces are visible from the Amtrak train, about five minutes north of Trenton station, and a minute south of NJT's Hamilton station.


“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#7 helena

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 12:48 AM

GFS never stops to amaze me - even ceramics exhibits (by Toshiko Takaezu no less) are exquisitely color coordinated with their resident birds smile.gif


"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#8 ghostrider

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 12:54 AM

QUOTE(Rail Paul @ Aug 30 2007, 06:14 PM) View Post
It seems like the neighborhood has sprouted a few more giant pieces, or perhaps I noticed a few that hadn't been apparent before. Many large pieces are visible from the Amtrak train, about five minutes north of Trenton station, and a minute south of NJT's Hamilton station.

I've noticed those several times & wondered how they got there. Funkadelic!
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

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#9 helena

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 01:07 AM

can't really resist - one of my favorites:


"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#10 helena

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 12:46 AM

autumn brings new colors and new installations, as always in perfect harmony:



and indoors there is an exhibition of Allan Houser's Inspired Visions - you even get a thin knitted glove to touch and feel the sculture...




"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#11 Lex

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:14 PM

Deb and I visited yesterday. I can understand why Helena goes every month.







Full photo set here.

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#12 helena

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:20 AM

QUOTE
Deb and I visited yesterday. I can understand why Helena goes every month.

Indeed smile.gif
Aren't we blessed? And they change the exhibits all the time so there is always something new to discover. But something will disappear sad.gif, like my favorite:



now the place is occupied by this tea kettle:


"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#13 bloviatrix

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 03:09 AM

I'm really curious to visit this place and see how it compares to Storm King. (we made a return trip to Storm King on sunday - it's spectacular.)
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#14 ghostrider

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 04:48 AM

QUOTE(bloviatrix @ Sep 9 2009, 11:09 PM) View Post
I'm really curious to visit this place and see how it compares to Storm King. (we made a return trip to Storm King on sunday - it's spectacular.)

1) It's considerably flatter.

2) There's probably no unexploded ordnance in the immediate vicinity.
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

Please come visit my rock concert blog: Tantalized.

#15 Deb Van D

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:04 PM

The place is a treasure.

There are so many surprises. When you think you've pretty much seen it all you'll turn a corner and be surprised by something new.





One cheeky bird seemed really tempted by the cafe.



We didn't realize that two of the ducks were decoys until the rest of them flew away.



I love this guy.


Using salt and pepper is a good, inexpensive way to put flavor in your food. Sandra Lee