The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is located in West Palm Beach Florida close to both the Intercoastal Freeway and the waterfront of Lake Worth. The 1.7 acre grounds include the former house of Ann Norton, which was build in 1935 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, over 300 types of palm trees, and many of her sculptured works.
Ann Norton was an American sculptor who lived from 1905 to 1982. She created large works with unpredictable designs that, in 1979, was put together into one foundation. The foundation is designed to not only preserve the garden and her many works but to also improve artistic awareness and enjoyment. The unique garden is serene and allows a quiet isolation to its many visitors while, at the same time, offers a glimpse into the extraordinary works of Ann Norton. This setting is unusual because there are over 100 pieces spread out throughout the house and the grounds but, what is truly amazing, are the nine monumental sculptures that are interweaved within the lush Florida landscape.
What to Expect
There are many things that visitors must be prepared for when going to West Palm Beach for the first time. The traffic and the hustle and bustle of the area is something that people must be prepared for and The Ann Norton Sculpture Garden is geared for a slightly older clientele. Smaller children, especially those that have already been to many of Florida’s amusement parks, will not find this attraction particularly fun. In most instances, children will not appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the garden or the historical importance of the house.
Ideally, this is a perfect setting for both those who are interested and appreciate art and those who enjoy fresh air and an outdoor lifestyle. The grounds are covered with thick natural Florida vegetation and, interspersed with the natural beauty, are nine huge sculptors. Eight are made of brick and one is made of granite but it is the unpredictable shapes that surprises. They almost look primitive, fitted into the landscape and surroundings so well that it is like being in a jungle and stumbling across a lost and mysterious ancient ruin. Come prepared with adequate walking shoes, and if it is summer, have sun glasses, bug spray, and sun screen handy because they will be needed.
The art studio displays Ann Norton’s works of wood, stone, and bronze and cover more than 40 years of her work. It is filled with amazing works including a towering twelve foot piece. Be prepared to view a lot of different, unique and fine works of art.
The historic home is another treat but be prepared to spend a lot of time there viewing the drawings of both Ann Norton and of other artists. Depending on how comprehensive of a tour is desired, a minimum of two hours should be set aside for this attraction.
The mission of The Sculpture Gardens is to further art education, promote works of other artists, and to preserve the sculptures of Ann Norton. To that end, the Sculpture Gardens takes extraordinary measures to extend educational opportunities along with exciting exhibits. To get the most out of this experience, it is wise to check their calendar of events and plan to attend when any of these exhibits are scheduled.
Tips for Visiting
There is an “Earth Days at the Gardens” scheduled that will appeal to both families and school groups. Cultural and environmental groups will be stationed throughout the grounds to explain many environmental and conservation activities.
The Gardens have also scheduled an exciting array of upcoming exhibits. The “Lincoln Center NY Collects” is a display of limited edition prints and posters that will be an extremely popular attraction. There is also a Moonlight Party planned that will play a classic movie under the moonlight in the Gardens.
In order to get the most out of the Sculptor Garden experience, plan ahead and schedule your visit during some of these exciting attractions.