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Moving About the Dreamscape of DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA

Updated on November 30, 2016
Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama/Karen is a joyfully home-schooling parent who holds a B.A. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Elementary Education.

Highlights from our afternoon at DeCordova

"Vision" by Lars-Erik Fisk
"Vision" by Lars-Erik Fisk | Source
Metzgar and Bartow Geological Field Station
Metzgar and Bartow Geological Field Station | Source
"Jacob's Dream" by Isaac Witkin
"Jacob's Dream" by Isaac Witkin | Source
"Sunflowers for Vincent" by Mark diSuvero
"Sunflowers for Vincent" by Mark diSuvero | Source
Sand Castle Sculpture by Sol LeWitt
Sand Castle Sculpture by Sol LeWitt | Source
Young sculpture artist at work
Young sculpture artist at work | Source
Pine Cone People, called "Cones" by Ronald Gonzalez
Pine Cone People, called "Cones" by Ronald Gonzalez | Source
Small person between "Two Big Black Hearts" by Jim Dine
Small person between "Two Big Black Hearts" by Jim Dine | Source
Close-up of one of the hearts by Jim Dine
Close-up of one of the hearts by Jim Dine | Source
Smaller heart embedded in one of the two "Two Big Black Hearts" by Jim Dine
Smaller heart embedded in one of the two "Two Big Black Hearts" by Jim Dine | Source
Coffee urn embedded in one of the "Two Big Black Hearts" by Jim Dine
Coffee urn embedded in one of the "Two Big Black Hearts" by Jim Dine | Source
Playing the "Musical Fence" by Paul Matisse
Playing the "Musical Fence" by Paul Matisse | Source
Entrance to "Rain Gates" by Ron Rudnicki
Entrance to "Rain Gates" by Ron Rudnicki | Source
"Lend me your ear" - Small hand in the ear of the sculpture titled "Listening Stone" by Joseph Wheelwright
"Lend me your ear" - Small hand in the ear of the sculpture titled "Listening Stone" by Joseph Wheelwright | Source
Building that houses the exhibit of Cast Iron Art Sculpture  by Antony Gormley
Building that houses the exhibit of Cast Iron Art Sculpture by Antony Gormley | Source
"Ozymandias" by Douglas Kornfeld being tickled by a Kindergartener
"Ozymandias" by Douglas Kornfeld being tickled by a Kindergartener | Source
Kindergartener + papa = half (1/2) as tall as "Ozymandias" by Douglas Kornfeld
Kindergartener + papa = half (1/2) as tall as "Ozymandias" by Douglas Kornfeld | Source

A frolic about a playground fit for Salvador Dali ~

Visiting the deCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts was like moving about in a colorful dreamscape that you want to linger in...that place you go just before waking. It is like having your spirit float off to a fun piece of paradise, along with people you would want to take along for the journey. On this excursion to that three-dimensional Neverland, it was my family.

We were greeting by an eye in the parking lot...

We arrived late in the day, so we became acquainted with but a third of the sculptures displayed in this big, family-friendly park. The first sculpture we encountered was the one we parked next to, an eyeball sculpture named "Vision" by Lars-Erik Fisk . A short climb up a small hill brought us to meet a gentleman who helped build a funky looking green house with a window that zig-zagged down the side of it. It was a field station from which two researchers, named Metzgar and Bartow , studied the natural landscape features at multiple points in the park. We met Mr. Bartow, who was very friendly and informative, and takes pleasure in the work that he does. The house was being torn down that day and their findings will be exhibited in the museum this winter.

The third sculpture we encountered was "Jacob's Dream" by Isaac Witkin . We lingered near it to take photographs and to discuss the impressions that the sculpture made on each of us. After studying the shape visually, we felt its texture with our fingers, observed how it was rough in some places and smooth in others. At least one extension of it was shaped like a wing.

A Variety of Materials came to life before us ~

From there, we toured the rest of the park, lingering at sculptures that held meaning for us. The materials used to make the sculptures at De Cordova include iron, metal, sand, stone, pine cones, brick, and recycled odds and ends (such as tires, hub caps, fans, and faucet spigots). One that was rich in recyclables was painted yellow and named "Sunflowers for Vincent" by Mark di Suvero . Since I love van Gogh, a sculpture dedicated to his honor was nothing less than magical.

Playing and creating with nature enchants the young...

The sculptures that were made of natural materials were the ones that held my daughter and I close like magnets. We played in the sand at the bottom of the sand sculptures. We climbed up the hill beside the rocky terrain of "Rain Gates" by Ron Rudnicki . My daughter played the "Musical Fence" by Paul Matisse, and we danced around the ones that were made of pine cones. Under one pine tree was a gathering of pine cone people, called "Cones" by Ronald Gonzalez . A group of young artists made small pine cone sculpture ornaments that decorated the tree, which inspired my daughter to want to collect cones to make one of her own. In the meantime, my husband wandered off to shoot photos of some of the more abstract sculptures.

After my daughter climbed onto my husband's shoulders to check how they measured up to "Ozymandias" by Douglas Kornfeld , she tickled under the big, red armpit. From there, our last stop as a family was by the "Two Big Black Hearts" by Jim Dine . My daughter looked like such a peanut as she stood between the two hearts. There are enough cast iron items embedded in those hearts to intrigue the most curious humans for hours. The fancy shoe was delightful to my daughter and I. The coffee urn was a favorite of my husband.

Saying farewell to new friends

As the shadows grew longer, the park began to close and it was time to bid the sculptures farewell. My family and I hope to return to De Cordova Sculpture Park to wander among the statues we did not encounter this time. We also hope to see a few of the indoor museum exhibits. We would also love to take a class or two at the museum school on the grounds. The store is compact, full of fun pieces and educational materials for young artists and scientists. The staff members we encountered walking around the park were very friendly and helpful. This sculpture park is a pleasure to visit and we plan to become members and make a habit of visiting often.

Ozymandias

Since we last visited the deCordova museum, "Ozymandias," by Douglas Kornfeld, has been removed from the park. We are so happy that we were able to take the last couple of pictures by the sculpture while it was still standing.

Here is the poem that inspired the sculpture ~

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,


The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelly

Inspiring a visit to a sculpture park

Did this article inspire you to visit a sculpture park near you?

See results

X Marks the Spot for Sculpture Parks across the US

show route and directions
A markerDecordova Museum and Sculpture Park - Lincoln, MA -
51 Sandy Pond Rd, Lincoln, MA 01773, USA
get directions

Modern art museum and sculpture park that also houses a geological field study house and a museum school.

B markerLaumeier Sculpture Park - St. Louis, MO -
St Louis, MO 63127, USA
get directions

C markerGriffis Sculpture Park - Buffalo, NY -
28 Essex St, Buffalo, NY 14213, USA
get directions

D markerStorm King Sculpture Park - Mountainsville, NY -
Old Pleasant Hill Rd, New Windsor, NY 12553, USA
get directions

E markerSocrates Sculpture Park - Queens, NY -
32-01 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11106, USA
get directions

F marker2901 Western Avenue Seattle, WA 98121 -
Olympic Sculpture Park - Seattle, WA
get directions

G markerEl Ancon Sculpture Park -
Ribera, NM 87560, USA
get directions

H markerShona Sol Sculpture Park -
3358 Turquoise Trail, #D Los Cerrillos, NM 87010, USA
get directions

For more information, please call the park: (505)473-5611. This location has no official web site. Please visit the "Trip Advisor" link provide above.

I marker200 W. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA -
Shemer Sculpture Garden - Phoenix, AZ
get directions

This is the address of the City Hall in Phoenix, the only address I was able to find on the web site featuring the cultural highlights of the city.

Guidebooks for visiting sculpture parks ~

A Guide to the Sculpture Parks and Gardens of America
A Guide to the Sculpture Parks and Gardens of America

This photographically stunning guide is essential to finding the sculpture parks and gardens available to visit close to home or far away.

 

© 2010 Karen A Szklany

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    • Seafarer Mama profile image
      Author

      Karen A Szklany 2 years ago from New England

      Hi Poetryman6969 ~ thanks for stopping by! Yes, the Decordova is a very interesting place to visit, and I am looking forward to finding opportunities to visit other sculpture parks and art museums. A walk through one of these parks is quite an adventure....and great for writers to practice responding to 3D visual prompts. ~:0)

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      I am not sure what to make of some of the sculptures but it does seem an interesting place to visit.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image
      Author

      Karen A Szklany 7 years ago from New England

      Glad you all enjoyed the article! Hope you have a chance to visit one of the sculpture parks listed, or find one closer to where you live.

      @ LisaBeaman: I found a couple in New Mexico. None in Phoenix, but perhaps a worthy day trip? I have updated my hub to include it in my list of links and on my map.

    • wvierra profile image

      wvierra 7 years ago from Collinsville

      Being I just started Collage in Graphic Arts, I find this very interesting. I will have to mark this place as a place to go in my near future. Funny thing is I once lived in Lowell, Mass but never really looked for or notice any of the art. I wish I had payed more attention back then. Mass has so much cultural and richness that I regret not noticing back in my youth.

    • profile image

      Edward S. Gault 7 years ago

      Very da Vincian!

    • lisabeaman profile image

      lisabeaman 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Very cool! I would love to go and visit a park like that. It doesn't look like there are any in the Phoenix area though... but perhaps a visit to the art museum is now in order. Great hub! Thanks for sharing those amazing photos!

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