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Best Sculpture Park (2021)

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These 10 sculpture parks and gardens across the USA allow you to appreciate art al fresco. With spring bringing with it warmer weather, now’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy one near you. 

  • Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park

    Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park
    University Park, Illinois

    This sculpture park at Governors State University in Chicago’s Southland features a collection of 30 large-scale sculptures displayed across 100 acres of prairie landscape. The free outdoor museum also hosts programs to help connect visitors with art and nature in a more meaningful way.
    Photo courtesy of Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park

  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

    Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Spanning 158 acres in Grand Rapids, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park features four-seasons outdoor gardens and a five-floor, 15,000-square-foot Tropical Conservatory. The permanent sculpture collection features almost 300 works, many of which are displayed across the 30-acre sculpture park.
    Photo courtesy of William J Hebert / Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

  • Michigan Legacy Art Park

    Michigan Legacy Art Park
    Thompsonville, Michigan

    This 30-acre wooded preserve in northern Michigan features a collection of more than fifty sculptures, as well as rotating exhibits. The park hosts drop-in programs for both adults and kids to encourage connection with art, nature and history.
    Photo courtesy of Michigan Legacy Art Park

  • Brookgreen Gardens

    Brookgreen Gardens
    Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

    Founded in 1931, the 300-acre Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet is part sculpture garden, part wildlife sanctuary occupying the site of four former rice plantations. The National Historic Landmark houses one of the best figurative sculpture collections in the world. 
    Photo courtesy of Lydia Schrandt

  • deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

    deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
    Lincoln, Massachusetts

    This 30-acre sculpture park and museum west of Boston hosts some 60 works of modern and contemporary art. The collection, displayed amid the lawns, gardens, forests and fields alongside Flint’s Pond, include collection works, loaned pieces and site-specific installations.
    Photo courtesy of The Trustees

  • Glenstone

    Glenstone
    Potomac, Maryland

    Post-World War II works from the 20th and 21st centuries sit on display across indoor and outdoor spaces at Glenstone, a new museum blending art, architecture and landscape design. Rotating art exhibits draw almost exclusively from the Glenstone collection, which highlights “art that represent pivotal shifts in the perception and understanding of the art of our time.”
    Photo courtesy of Glenstone

  • Art Omi

    Art Omi
    Ghent, New York

    This 120-acre sculpture and architecture park in Columbia County, New York features contemporary installations by artists from around the globe. Visitors can see more than 60 works on display in nature, with pieces added or exchanged every year.
    Photo courtesy of Alon Koppel / Art Omi (Alex Schweder + Ward Shelley, ReActor)

  • Olympic Sculpture Park

    Olympic Sculpture Park
    Seattle

    The free Olympic Sculpture Park at the Seattle Art Museum features nine monumental works along the downtown waterfront. The nine-acre green space – the largest in downtown – offers not only art, but stellar views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.
    Photo courtesy of Benjamin Benschneider / Seattle Art Museum

  • Desert X

    Desert X
    Coachella Valley, California

    Desert X isn’t your typical sculpture park. These recurring contemporary art exhibitions feature site-specific installations by international artists in desert locations throughout the Palm Springs region. Exhibitions are free, and each is designed to leave no trace after it closes in an effort to protect the desert environment.
    Photo courtesy of Lance Gerber (photographer) and Alicja Kwade (artist) / Desert X

  • Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

    Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
    New Orleans

    The sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) includes more than 90 works displayed on 11 acres of City Park. Visitors can enjoy these works of art amid a landscape of mature pines, magnolias, live oaks and two lagoons.
    Photo courtesy of New Orleans Museum of Art

The top 10 winners in the category Best Sculpture Park are as follows:

  1. Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park - University Park, Illinois
  2. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park - Grand Rapids, Michigan
  3. Michigan Legacy Art Park - Thompsonville, Michigan
  4. Brookgreen Gardens - Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
  5. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum - Lincoln, Massachusetts
  6. Glenstone - Potomac, Maryland
  7. Art Omi - Ghent, New York
  8. Olympic Sculpture Park - Seattle
  9. Desert X - Coachella Valley, California
  10. Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden - New Orleans

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning sculpture parks!

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