Feature Articles

May Issue 2001

Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC, Highlights an Exhibition of Animal Sculptures and More

A new 38-piece sculpture exhibition entitled, A Magnificent Menagerie: Animals in Sculpture, is currently on view in the Jennewein Gallery at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, SC, through Aug. 19, 2001. Many of the important animal sculptors of the past and present are represented in the exhibition, which features 25 pieces from the Brookgreen collection and 13 on loan from contemporary American sculptors.

"In this exhibit, you'll see the threads of the past in today's works, from late 19th-century sculpture of wildlife drama to the streamlined Art Deco style of the early 20th century, to the animal portraiture of the Gilded Age when wealthy people wanted sculpture of their champion thoroughbreds," said Robin Salmon, curator of sculpture at Brookgreen. "Today's sculptor works with a variety of materials using innovative techniques; this will be presented clearly in the exhibition."

Small-to large-sized works in stone, metal and wood depict both wild and domestic animals from all corners of the world. Surfaces vary widely from the polish of an Art Deco sculpture to textured, detailed realism. Various types of sculptural techniques are represented as well, including direct carving by the sculptor on the raw material to clay modeling in which a model is made and then cast in metal. Contemporary sculptors whose work is featured include South Carolina's own Grainger McKoy, as well as Dan Ostermiller, Leo Osborne, Bart Walter, Steve Kestrel, and Sandy Scott.

If you have ever wished you knew more about the sculpture Brookgreen collects and displays throughout the garden, you will want to visit the exhibit on view in the Noble Gallery of the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion. Exploring American Sculpture uses some of the most important pieces from the Brookgreen collection to show how American sculpture has both changed with the times and endured despite the times over the past 200 years. The exhibit also describes how sculpture is made, using vignettes of sculptors' studios and an interactive video to describe direct carving, bronze casting, and other matters.

Time spent in Exploring American Sculpture will bring new insights to your next walk through the garden. Exploring American Sculpture is a long-term exhibition that will remain on display for several years. Creation of this exhibit was made possible through the generosity of Thomas M. Belk.

Brookgreen Gardens presents one of the largest collections of outdoor sculpture in America. This preeminent collection of American representational sculpture includes - 560 works by 240 artists - representing such well-known artists as Charles Parks, Daniel Chester French, Carl Milles, August Saint-Gaudens and Anna Hyatt Huntington.

Since opening to the public more than 60 years ago, Brookgreen Gardens has introduced visitors from around the world to an enchanting showcase of art and nature. Set on a 300-acre parcel in the heart of a 9,100-acre preserve that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the historic ricefields of the Waccamaw River, Brookgreen Gardens is home to more than 560 works of American sculpture, 2,000 species and subspecies of native plants, and a 50-acre wildlife park and aviary.

Brookgreen Gardens was lovingly created in the 1930s by sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband Archer Huntington. On the site of an abandoned 18th century rice plantation, the Huntingtons envisioned a quiet retreat from life's hectic pace, a sanctuary where monumental works of art would be displayed against a rich natural tapestry of magnificent moss-draped live oaks and towering pines.

Brookgreen Gardens was the first public sculpture garden built in the United States. Today, it is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings or call the Gardens at 843/237-4218 or on the web at (http://www.brookgreen.com).

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