Sculpture Garden | New Orleans Museum of Art

While exploring the city of New Orleans, i was eager to check out the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in City Park adjacent to the museum. It takes up about 5 acres and is enclosed by mature pines, magnolias and live oaks and is further divided by rooms of mostly native understory shrubs and plants. This aesthetic is very unusual for sculpture gardens, which typically are sited on golf-course like greenswards that are highly manicured. The 2003/4 design team included Lee Ledbetter Architects of New Orleans and Sawyer/Berson Architecture and Landscape Architecture, LLP, of New York. What makes this sculpture garden successful is the procession and visitor experience of navigating through the spaces and the wonderful visual connections and viewshed created by the vegetative separation. The park also houses a large beautiful pond that is a central feature, connection and focal point of the site. There a plenty of open spaces for contemplative thinking to enjoy the wonderful sculpture. My favorites included the Virlane Tower [Snelson, 1981], Travelin’ Light [Saar, 1999] and Four Lines Oblique [Rickey, 1970s].

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