Sculpture parks offer incredible sculptures that are too large to be placed inside buildings so they need to have their own space. They are beautifully located in dazzling gardens and play off the background of Mother Nature. When you travel to an area that has a sculpture park, you must experience the grandeur and beauty of these perfectly mastered pieces of art.
Storm King Art Center in Cornwall, NY
This art center is less than 2-hours by train just north of NYC. On a sunny day, what a great way to spend an afternoon strolling through the natural art center viewing modern works that date back to the 1940s. While strolling through this 500-acre park, you might just run into gorgeous Alexander Calder sculptures or come across an enormous canoe painted by Roy Lichtenstein.
Parque de las Esculturas in Santiago, Chile
After the original garden was destroyed by a flood in 1982, local artists totally rebuilt the area forming an incredible sculpture park and botanical garden. The park is well-lit if you want to stop by in the evening and on a clear day, you can see the Andes Mountains.
Ekebergparken Sculpture in Park Oslo, Norway
This park is located in an area that during WWII, was loaded with German anti-aircraft mines. Today, it’s loaded with modern features and lifelike metal sculptures of people. James Turrell’s “Skyspace” is one of many around the world that create a color show with the changing light in the ceiling aperture that will take your breath away.
Parco Dei Mostri in Bomarzo, Italy
This park was commissioned by Prince Pier Francesco Orsini in 1552. The park is a ghoulish interpretation of the suffering he experienced after returning from the horrors of war and then directly followed by the death of his wife.
Parco dei Mostri in translation is Park of the Monsters and is a far cry from symmetrical and sculpture gardens that existed during the time. This park is a strange, haunting environment for this open-air gallery.
Memento Park in Budapest, Hungary
This larger-than-life sculpture park is tongue in cheek focusing on the fall of communism. You will see life-sized sculptures of the former communist leaders throughout history. Also, there is a phone that you can pick up and travel back in time listening to the voices of Stalin and Mao, along with many others.
Chapungu Sculpture Park in Harare, Zimbabwe
This sculpture garden sits in the capital city of Zimbabwe and was originally created before the country gained its independence. The garden is made up of wonderful work created by traditional Zimbabwean stone sculptors. Today, many of these pieces of artwork are exported to botanical gardens around the world to share the traditional art form of Zimbabweans.
Buddha Park in Vientiane, Laos
Even though the park was designed to look like it was built hundreds of years ago, the Buddha statues were not built until 1958. The sculptures were created by a priest-shaman and his students and none of them were trained in art. There are 200 huge statues that sit on the banks of the Mekong River which express Thai and Laotian culture with both Buddhist and Hindu statues of icons.
Hakone Open-Air Museum in Hakone, Japan
This is Japan’s first open-air museum which is made up of sculptures, gardens, and exhibits set against the backdrop of lush garden growth. Your children can climb inside clear cubes and everyone is welcome to rest their feet in the trickling foot baths with water that comes from the local hot spring.
In Broken Hill, Australia – Visit the Living Desert & Sculptures
In 1993, this park opened in central Australia. It’s home to 12 sandstone carvings by artists from Australia, Mexico, Georgia, and Syria. Visit at sunset and watch the rocks light up, creating an incredible magical effect that can only be found in the Outback!