15 Sculpture Gardens and Parks Perfect for a Luxury Experience
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We love a great museum as much as anyone here at Dandelion Chandelier. But sometimes, we want more. We want the beauty of nature as well as the provocation and inspiration of art. In short, we want it all. And happily, there are some gorgeous destinations that can deliver that. Here’s our roundup of 15 of the best sculpture gardens and parks in the world that are perfect destinations for a luxury experience.
what are the world’s best sculpture gardens and parks?
There’s something particularly magical about a sculpture garden. Done properly, exploring one activates a sense of discovery, playfulness and surprise. They can also be the catalyst for deep reflection – almost like a walking mediation session.
Of course, there are good sculpture gardens – and great ones. When stunning scenery marries a thoughtfully curated selection of artworks, there’s real magic. Here are our top picks for the best sculpture gardens and parks in the world right now – we’ve visited many of them, and can’t wait to return.
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15 best sculpture gardens and parks for a luxury experience
1. The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is a 30-acre sculpture park and contemporary art museum on the shore of Flint’s Pond in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Located about 20 miles northwest of Boston, the park was established in 1950. At 30 acres of trails, lawns and gardens, it’s the largest park of its kind in New England.
Featuring over 60 works at any given moment, the deCordova is accessible year round. You’ll find events as varied as snowshoe tours, yoga in the park, nature tours and curator and artist conversations.
Stop by the the Twisted Tree Café after you’ve wandered and explored the property. Or bring a picnic basket and soak in the sunlight while you reflect on what you saw.
Admission is $18 for adults, $14 for seniors and $12 for students. Hours are 10:00A-5:00P. Get your tickets here.
2. MoMA Sculpture Garden, New York City.
In the heart of Midtown Manhattan there’s a gem of a place to visit – and to linger. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden opened in 1939, and ever since it has been a treasured space in New York.
Renowned architect Philip Johnson, the first director of the MoMA’s architecture department, redesigned the sculpture garden in 1953 and his design remains to this day. Johnson imagined the space as a “roofless room,” with four distinct areas for displaying contemporary sculpture. In addition to the art, you’ll find lush flora and fauna and several fountains and pools.
It’s one of our favorite places in New York, and we’ve been known to sneak off for a few moments of fresh air and contemplation in the middle of a busy day at work. Best of all? Like so many of life’s best luxuries, this one is free! Museum admission is not required for entry. Learn more here.
3. The High Line, New York City.
Another verdant oasis in the middle of Gotham is the beloved High Line, a green space built on top of an abandoned elevated railway line on the West Side of Manhattan. Because it’s a public park, admission is free for all.
One of the best features of the High Line is its rotating exhibits of contemporary art. A random walk will allow you to feel as if you’ve just stumbled across a marvelous installation or sculpture. This public art program is integral to the mission of the High Line’s governing board, and many of the site-specific works have introduced New Yorkers to artists that they might otherwise not have known.
For example, sculptor Simone Leigh – who curated the American Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale – gained wide name recognition in 2019 for her massive work “Brick House” on the High Line. Currently, that same space is occupied by Sam Durant’s large-scale fiberglass sculpture in the shape of an abstracted drone mounted atop a 25-foot-tall steel pole. Visible from the surrounding streets as well as from the park itself, it’s another in a long line of provocative outdoor works that get people talking.
Learn more about upcoming public artworks here.
4. Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York.
5. Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland.
6. Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art is a stunning space in which to experience both great art and natural beauty. Home to over 90 sculptures, it spans almost eleven acres adjacent to the museum. Among the many distinctive elements of this garden are the towering pines, magnolias, and live oaks that surround two lagoons.
Originally conceived in 2003, the Sculpture Garden doubled in size in 2019. Admission is free (although donations are gratefully accepted); the garden is open to the public seven days a week. Learn more here.
7. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Minnesota.
8. Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle.
The Olympic Sculpture Park, created and operated by the Seattle Art Museum, is a public park with modern and contemporary sculpture in downtown Seattle, Washington. The park, which opened January 20, 2007, consists of a 9-acre outdoor sculpture museum. Adjacent to the Chihuly Museum and Garden,
9. the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at the Getty Center, Los Angeles.
10. Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil.
11. Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands.
12. Ekeberg Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway.
13. La Fondation Carmignac
Porquerolles Island off the coast of southern France is home to a gallery complex and sculpture garden featuring the collection of Édouard Carmignac. Fondation Carmignac is set at the heart of a National Park. Visitors are given a tea infused with locally grown herbs upon arrival and encouraged to take a dip in the sea after. includes a Louis Benech-designed wild ‘non-garden’ with colossal contemporary sculptures.
14. Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone-machi, Japan
15. Gibbs Farm, Makarau, New Zealand.
best sculpture gardens and parks in the world
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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.
Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. A Detroit native, she has 3 Harvard degrees and has written 3 mystery novels published by Simon & Schuster. After serving as a senior corporate executive, CEO of CNBC and partner at McKinsey, she now serves on the boards of several tech companies. She loves fashion, Paris, New York, books, contemporary art, running, skiing, coffee, Corgis and violets.