GFS TEMPORARILY CLOSED
COVID-19 Update

Fairgrounds >> Sculpture Park

History

Credit

Countless guests sought entertainment at the Interstate Fair. Archival image; photographer unknown.

In 1984, J. Seward Johnson, sculptor and philanthropist, envisioned a public sculpture garden and museum in Hamilton, NJ. His desire was to make contemporary sculpture accessible and offer people from all backgrounds the opportunity to become comfortable with contemporary art. Grounds For Sculpture was conceived as a place where audiences could experience sculpture in a familiar, accessible, and informal setting.

Construction on the sculpture park began in 1989 on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds; Grounds For Sculpture opened to the general public in 1992. Since its inception, the park is now exhibiting nearly 300 works, including sculptures by renowned artists Clement Meadmore, Anthony Caro, Beverly Pepper, Kiki Smith, and New Jersey sculptor George Segal. Some of the works were commissioned specifically for the sculpture park, such as Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Space of Stone and New Jersey artist Isaac Witkin’s Garden State. Work on the park and sculpture acquisitions were financed by public tax-exempt bonds and private foundations associated with founder J. Seward Johnson.

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We have received many questions about whether the opening of state parks includes Grounds For Sculpture. Please note at this time we remain closed. 

As a nonprofit organization we are not part of the state parks system and we are not yet permitted to open. We are watching the situation closely. When we are permitted to open, we are determined to do so in way that is safe for our staff, volunteers and visitors.

We know the value of being out in nature and experiencing art is all the more important and restorative during these uncertain times. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to experience GFS later this season when we are permitted and able to reopen. We are tending the garden to ensure we are ready when the time comes.

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