Day Trip to Grounds for Sculpture

Sunday I moved my band rehearsal to later in the day so that Monika and I could spend the day together doing something fun.  We woke up early, but by 11 AM, we still had not made definite plans.  Options ranged from Brandywine River Museum, Lambertville to visit River Horse Brewing Company, This crazy abandoned mansion in PA, and this castle near New York.

I think Monika is suspicious that I lied and I'm really driving her to a bar

But, Monika went to art school, and knew about a place I had never heard of.  It’s not too far, just outside Trenton and less than an hour from our house in Atco.  It turned out to be amazing and it’s called Grounds for Sculpture.  I’ve been to sculpture gardens before, but I had no idea what to expect from this one, especially because it was located in the less than sophisticated, truly blue-collar Trenton suburb.  I was shocked.

Monika pets abstract art

This place was amazing.  First of all, the staff…every single person we met, was exceptionally helpful and very nice.  After getting a map, we headed out.  You might thing you don’t need a map.  You’d be wrong.  I’m very good with directions and orientation, and I needed the map plenty.  On the other hand, you certainly don’t need help finding plenty of crazy sculptures and inviting little pathways everywhere.

in the secret bamboo woods

Unlike many museums, this one is very interactive.  You wouldn’t normally think of a sculpture garden that way, but none of these pieces of art were roped off, and many of them were free to touch.  In fact, they offer special guided tours for the blind and disabled because the beauty of the artwork, as well as the landscaping and grounds, transcend the “art fanatic” crowd.

Monika hugs a rock!

Part of the allure of this place, for me at least, was it’s history.  The grounds have been the location of public gatherings for over a century, but only more recently a place of art appreciation and grounds for meditations.  Some of the original buildings from its historic roots still remain.

this is just one of a handful of structures left over from the original uses of this location

At one time the New Jersey Fairgrounds were located here.  That existed for a century or so and used to have festivals, the State Fair and other public gatherings in addition to showcasing farming equipment and the like.  Eventually, in the 70’s, they were going bankrupt and sold the property.  In the early 90’s, Grounds for Sculpture was born.

This is a depression era bread line sculpture

The landscaping is amazing and very surreal

there are a few lily gardens

and a water garden with waterfalls and streams

and bizarre sculptures


this was one of my favorites. it's a guy taking a picture (sort of)

there's even a section that's made from old, discarded pieces of granite and stone

and a whole section where you can interact with famous pieces of art (this one is called "naked girl with perverts)

like Monet's water lily garden paintings.


One Response to “Day Trip to Grounds for Sculpture”

  1. loved the pictures, lookes like an awesome place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: