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Moving About the Dreamscape of DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA
Highlights from our afternoon at DeCordova
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.
Learn more about sculpture parks around the world ~
- DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Exhibitions
The DeCordova hosts a summer camp for children called "The Hive."
- Griffis Sculpture Park
This sculpture park is located in Buffalo, NY.
- Storm King Sculpture Park
Storm King Art Center - Located in Mountainville, New York, an hour's drive north from the George Washington Bridge, the 500-acre Storm King Art Center is both a museum and a nature conservancy.
- Socrates Sculpture Park
Close to the Big Apple, this park is located in Queens, NY
- Laumeier Sculpture Park
Located in St. Louis, MO.
- Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Located in Grand Rapids, MI.
- Midwest Sculpture Park Directory
Directory of Sculpture Parks located in the Midwest
- Shona Sol - Santa Fe - Reviews of Shona Sol - TripAdvisor
Shona Sol, Santa Fe: See reviews, articles, and photos of Shona Sol, ranked No.73 on TripAdvisor among 163 attractions in Santa Fe.
- Shemer Sculpture Garen - Phoenix, AZ
Sculpture Park in a garden at the heart of Phoenix, AZ.
- Paradise Found | Westcott Bay Sculpture Park | Southwest Art Magazine | Fine Western Art, Artists &a
At the Westcott Bay Sculpture Park in the San Juan Islands, the setting and the art complement each other perfectly.
- International Directory of Sculpture Parks & Gardens by Benbow Bullock, Metal Sculptor
International directory of sculpture parks and gardens by Benbow Bullock, metal sculptor. Offers listing of parks around the world that are open to the public or by appointment.
- Wiki List of sculpture park locations around the world
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 ~
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
Learn more about Shelley's inspiration for "Ozymandias"
- "Ozymandias," by Percy Bysshe Shelley ~ Poem Guide
Background to the poem is provided by the Learning Lab of The Poetry Foundation.
Inspiring a visit to a sculpture park
Did this article inspire you to visit a sculpture park near you?
X Marks the Spot for Sculpture Parks across the US
Modern art museum and sculpture park that also houses a geological field study house and a museum school.
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.
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 ~
This photographically stunning guide is essential to finding the sculpture parks and gardens available to visit close to home or far away.
© 2010 Karen Szklany Gault