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Hamilton Township, New Jersey

Grounds For Sculpture

Sculpture park and museum that specializes in the huge and bizarre. 

Originally part of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds, Grounds for Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park and museum that specializes in the huge and bizarre. Opened in 1992, the park draws visitors for both its collection and the exquisite site, which is complete with more than 2,000 rose bushes, 1,000 trees, and other flower beds and shrubbery. So far, it is living up to its mission to promote an appreciation for and understanding of contemporary sculpture by publishing catalogs, organizing exhibitions, and offering a host of educational programs and community events.

As far as the sculptures go (there are more than 240), many are of life-size human figures and displayed in open fields or grouped into display areas. Others are hidden around contours in the landscape and need to be discovered by visitors. There are sculptures made of wood, plastic, metal, stone, paper, and more materials. Many of the pieces were created by some of the world’s most famous sculpture artists, including pieces by George Segal, Isaac Witkin, Anthony Caro, Magdalena Abakanowicz, and J. Seward Johnson Jr., who played a major role in establishing the venue.

In addition to the outdoor sculpture park, Grounds for Sculpture also has two 10,000-square-foot exhibition buildings, courtyards, and an amphitheater. One building, the Domestic Arts Building, featured a cafe and museum shop. A second dining option, Rat’s is a gourmet restaurant that overlooks the sculptures and serves lunch and dinner by reservation.