The Garment District Alliance has commissioned a plethora of beautiful outdoor art installations on the Garment District Plazas over the years. Today, we are taking a look-back at ‘Seward Johnson in New York‘, life-like sculptures that graced the Plazas from 36th to 41st Streets from mid-June to mid-September, 2015.
The installation featured eighteen of Seward Johnson’s sculptures, selected from three different collections ~ many paying homage to American society. The life-like sculptures range from the familiar to iconic figures like Abraham Lincoln and Marilyn Monroe!
Within the five blocks of the mall, pedestrians will find selections from the artists’ different series, including Celebrating the Familiar (man on the street) works and the Beyond the Frame pieces from the impressionist-inspired collection. Marilyn Monroe and Grant Wood’s farmer’s from the Icons Revisited series.
The life-sized sculptures blend in so seamlessly on the Plazas, that pedestrians often have to take a second look.
The intricate pieces were placed among the many planters, overflowing with flowers, and tables and chairs overflowing with New Yorkers and tourists, who had great fun taking selfies that summer.
Above and below, from the Beyond the Frame series, Johnson created three-dimensional translations of 18th and 19th century paintings by Manet, Renoir and others.
The detailed and colorful sculpture pieces are the creation of artist Seward Johnson (1930-2020), grandson of Johnson & Johnson co-founder Robert Wood Johnson, and the founder of Grounds for Sculpture (GFS), a 42-acre park in Hamilton, New Jersey that features hundreds of large-scale contemporary sculptures.
With Grounds for Sculpture, Johnson created a space which is open to the public, displaying his works and artworks by various other artists.
In addition to beautifully manicured grounds and sculpture work (and home to peacocks), Grounds for Sculpture holds ever-changing exhibitions and public programs for families and kids, and teachers and their students, as well as membership for attending regular events.
There are several exhibitions currently on view including ‘That’s Worth Celebrating: The Life and Work of the Johnson Family‘; Bruce Beasley: Sixty Year Retrospective 1960-2020′; and ‘Rebirth: Kan Muxiang’ ~ an artist New Yorkers might remember from a 2018 installation, Rebirth: Kan Muxiang brought to The Garment District by Garment District Alliance.
Below are a few more pictures from The Garment District 2015 installation, Seward Johnson in New York.
New York City has a permanent Seward Johnson sculpture ~ Double Check, a 1982 sculpture, which was located in Zuccotti Park, and relocated in 2018 to the northwest corner of Broadway and Liberty.