Get Inspired: Finding Sculpture Gardens Near You
Walking outside among beautiful works of art is a wonderful way to escape, explore and exercise your imagination. Sculpture gardens are designed for exactly that purpose. They are gardens (or parks) filled with statues and sculptures that you can walk around in. There are amazing sculpture gardens throughout the country – some might even be near you! Learn about the most popular gardens and how to create one of your own.
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC)
Located on the grounds of the National Gallery of Art in our nation’s capital, this sculpture garden is one of the best in the country and features contemporary pieces, a fountain and café. In the winter months, the fountain is transformed into an ice-skating rink which offers a fun alternative outing for visitors. Some noteworthy sculptures that reside here are Spider by Louise Bourgeois, Wandering Rocks by Tony Smith, Four-Sided Pyramid by Sol LeWitt, and Puellae by Magdalena Abakanowicz.
Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden (Los Angeles, CA)
If you ever find yourself near the University of California, Los Angeles, make sure to pop inside the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden. Founded in 1967 and run by the Hammer Museum, it’s a beautiful showcase of more than 70 sculptures from around the world. Over five acres,you can encounter works by Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, Deborah Butterfield and more.
Brookgreen Gardens (Murrells Inlet, SC)
Brookgreen Gardens is considered the largest sculpture garden in the U.S. and it contains the most comprehensive collection of American figurative pieces. Founded in 1931, this combination of art, nature and history is a feast for the eyes and the mind. Explore more than 2,000 works by 430 artists decorating the precisely manicured lawns. This museum also offers workshops, tours and rotating exhibits.
Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC)
Part of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, the Hirshhorn offers a “contemplative haven” for residents and visitors alike. You can enjoy the 30 works of art housed by the gardens all year long. Just enter through the National Mall and disappear into the art. Not only are the gardens something to behold, but the museum also building itself is an architectural masterpiece – and you know we love good architecture at IKTAM.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (Minneapolis, MN)
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a fantastic example of how open space and sculpture can work together. It accomplishes this by combining renowned modern and contemporary art, an accessible, urban park and native trees and plantings. The result is a refreshing and dynamic outdoor experience like none other. Take a stroll and see works by artists like James Turrell, Eva Rothschild, and Katharina Fritsch.
How to Make Your Own Sculpture Garden
Don’t see a garden near you? There are scores of sculpture gardens throughout the country. Check your local arts district to find one near you. You may be surprised to discover art installations in your neighborhood – or you can make one in your own backyard.
Start by choosing a sculpture that speaks to you and the essence of your space. At IKTAM, we offer outdoor pieces designed to add gravitas to any environment and can be color-customized to meet your design palette. Once you find the one (or two) for you, you can start designing your garden around it.
Wondering how to display your sculpture? Sculpture gardens thrive by making the art pieces the focal points. Consider positioning your sculptures in key parts of your yard and laying paths that lead your guests to them. Surround large sculptures with low shrubbery or plantings to draw the eyes up. Alternatively, smaller sculptures can be placed within masses of flowers or plants to offer a pleasant surprise for guests as they meander.
Remember: don’t overwhelm the space. A few well-placed pieces can be enough. Add depth and diversity by sprinkling other elements throughout your garden area like benches, fountains, birdfeeders, and rock beds. As with interior design, edit out clutter to make sure your garden shines.
Don’t know where to begin? Reach out to our experts and we can help guide you to the pieces that will best fit your vision.