Sometimes, cruising through New Orleans can wear you out. The days so much is going on, the energy can feel like a carousel spinning out of control. Rest assured, New Orleans is prepared for those needed breaks. If you have checked out our blog you may have seen pieces about City Park. A giant oasis of natural beauty and a getaway from the lights and sounds of the Crescent City. The park is huge; with two museums, two golf course, a sports stadium as well as acres of gorgeous landscape. Right next to the New Orleans Museum of Art is an outdoor installation for perfect for a relaxing walk and reflecting: The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
Sydney and Walda are successful business people, (Sydney ran a K&B inc. a successful retail chain of drugstores.) and both helped with the creation of the Contemporary Art Center. The Besthoff’s have always been avid lovers and collector of art and wanted to share their passion and encourage others to discover the wonder of art, in particular sculpture. In 1978 S&W created the Sydney & Walda foundation dedicated to cultivating public interest in the arts, particularly contemporary sculpture.In 2003 on seven acres next to the museum of modern art, the Sydney and Walda Sculpture Garden.
“Known as connoisseurs of modern and contemporary sculpture, Sydney & Walda founded their garden with the aim of allowing the public to enjoy art in a contemplative and idyllic Louisiana sculpture.”
The sculptures were meticulous placed within a mature living landscape of living oaks, magnolias and pine and comfortably surrounded by two lagoons. The idea of placing these works of art out in the middle of the natural world is to see nature as the ultimate work of art by observing nature in conjunction with the sculptures. In 2019 the garden received a generous upgrade with six acres were added, doubling the size of the garden and increasing the number of sculptures to more than 90. An indoor installation was also added so there can be a reprieve from the summer heat.
The sculptures are created from a variety of materials, marble, bronze, stainless steel and glass. Some of these pieces are massive, and quite beautiful. Several of the pieces highlight the history, journey and influence of the Mississippi River on the landscape of America. One exhibit is a walking bridge chronicling all the different paths the river has carved out over time. Quite beautiful and powerful to see how a river lives and moves.
The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week, 10am-6pm. If you really want to get intimate with sculpture garden, every Saturday there is yoga from 8am-9am.