Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ

These photos are from our trip right before hot weather started last Spring.

The building in the background is the wonderful restaurant RATS where we went with my grandson and his dad to celebrate my grandson’s college graduation. I am standing on the bridge to the entrance of the grounds and looking back at the restaurant.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Grounds for Sculpture, not too far from Philadelphia.

Grounds For Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park and museum located in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States, on the former site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds.

(What is interesting about this description is that as a little girl we would go to the NJ State Fairgrounds to see the Fourth of July Fireworks. My husband also noted that when he was a young boy, his father took him to the fairgrounds where he watched midget race cars, probably the same dirt trackI watched the fireworks!)

Here is what the website notes:

Grounds For Sculpture was established in 1992 to promote an understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture for all people by:

  • maintaining a 42-acre sculpture park composed of works by well-known and emerging American and international artists in Hamilton, NJ
  • organizing accessible exhibitions; and
  • interpreting these exhibitions through publications, lectures, workshops and other educational programs.

In accordance with its mission, Grounds For Sculpture presents visitors with an evolving permanent outdoor collection, seasonal exhibitions, and educational programs designed to facilitate the understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture.

The lifelike sculptures, I believe, are the work of Seward Johnson, one of the family members of Johnson & Johnson, located in central New Jersey. I found them more interesting than the stone sculptures, so I have more of the the former than the latter.

Delightful group of children holding hands and playing on the grass.

One of the many stone sculptures the grounds.

This was so lifelike that I actually thought it was a man napping in front of the restrooms. The creases in the shirt and slack really look like fabric.

These are treelike sculptures. My husband and grandson are examining them closely.

This was an interesting free-standing wire sculpture that was quite large.

Many of the lifelike sculptures are from a former era, very nostalgic in feeling.

This portrait-like culture of a mother and child is very touching.

There are many places to stop and rest, such as this lovely shaded bench…

Then again, you could watch sweethearts spooning on their own bench!

One of the most popular sculptures, larger-than-life as you can see by the size of my husband at the base, is this one of Marilyn Monroe in the movie that made this pose famous 61 years ago, The Seven Year Itch. Spectacular!

Near the end of the culture gardens this delightful handmade wood woven bench in a covered nook….
very inviting.

If you like sculptures of different sizes and types and enjoy being outdoors, Grounds for Sculpture (www.groundsfor is the perfect place to visit. To eat at Rats you need a reservation because it is a popular restaurant with very tasty food and a little pricey.  (

4 thoughts on “Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ

  1. I have always admired J. Seward Johnson’s talent. J & J has a special place in my memory.
    I worked in the J&J Law Dept for 4 years when I was at Douglas. Great place to visit!

  2. Makes me want to go back and see this! The apartment we lived in backed up to the woods that stood between us and the fairgrounds. When I was back for our 50th Reunion we drove past the old neighborhood and I was disappointed to see it so fully built up, the woods and fairgrounds gone. I am glad there is this oasis of nature with beautiful sculptures there now.

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