Sculptured Grounds of Trenton New Jersey

With the Delaware River as its natural border, the city of Trenton has been the New Jersey state capital since 1790. Although it is a small city, even by New Jersey standards, Trenton has a proud history, being the place where George Washington’s first victory was gained during the American War of Independence.

Although it is a small city, Trenton is well located, occupying the geographic centre of the State of New Jersey and is only one of two state capitals to border another state, in Trenton’s case, Pennsylvania.

Occupying a total area of 35 acres in Hamilton, just east of Trenton is the Grounds For Sculpture. Although located in Hamilton, the Grounds For Sculpture is often promoted as being in Trenton, but both places are in Mercer County. As the name does suggest, this is a sculpture park which was founded in 1992 with the intention of promoting and understanding an appreciation for the artistic merits of sculpture.

Originally built on the site of the old state fairgrounds, the Grounds For Sculpture now houses a collection of over 270 works by renowned artists such as Beverley Pepper, Kiki Smith, Clement Meadmore and others.

Also located within the park are two museums, an arboretum, shop and restaurant. As well as the static and permanent displays, a number of short and long term exhibitions, concerts and events are held there.

The sculpture park was founded by John Seward Johnson II in 1992, whose favourite book was Kenneth Graham’s Wind in the Willows. Characters from the book have been immortalised in the name of the park’s highly-regarded restaurant Rat’s Restaurant. The name of the restaurant has nothing to do with unwanted vermin, but was named for the character of Ratty who, according to Johnson, was the perfect host. The shop and gallery have been named Toad Hall, also in deference to Wind in the Willows.

Grounds For Sculptures is open all year round, and it does have extended opening hours during Summer. Although it does sound like you could be in for a dour time when you visit, there is also an emphasis on whimsy and also fun, so some objects in the collection will raise a smile or a laugh.

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