My favorite place

I spent the day preparing for our annual spring trip to Pawleys Island. It’s a wonderful, quiet coastal town full of old growth trees hung with Spanish moss and wisteria vines. It’s the perfect place to live slowly for a week.

It’s also home to Brookgreen Gardens – my favorite place! Brookgreen was established in the 1930s to preserve the native environment and display realistic, figurative sculpture in a natural setting. It covers over 9,000 acres and the collection has almost 1200 pieces displayed among dogwoods, azaleas and man-made ponds. For a sculptor, especially one specializing in figurative work, it is an tremendously inspiring place.

And I’m especially excited to see it this year because they are having a special exhibit of bas relief and medallion work. I’ve already bought an extra memory stick for the camera! In the meantime, here are some of the pictures I took last year.

This larger-than-life sculpture of fighting stallions marks the entrance to the Gardens. The lighter color isn’t a patina – the sculpture was actually cast in aluminum.

This is one of the two lions that guard the entrance to the gardens proper. They are copies of the pair at the Hispanic Society of America.

After you pass the lions, you find Diana of the Chase set in a large pool. That particular sculpture of Diana (and there are many on the grounds) is probably the best-known image of the Gardens. This shot is taken at an odd angle behind her because I was trying to capture the look the old trees and gardens give the sculptures. I fear I am not enough of a photographer to really capture the feel of the place.

This is a smaller copy of the bas relief of Boabdil that decorates one side of the Hispanic Society building.

If I remember correctly, this piece was a study done in preparation for Anna Hyatt Huntington’s famous Horse Trainer. It was only a bit larger than a “traditional” model horse.

Anna Hyatt Huntington sculpted this (larger than life) piece when she was 87. I hope I’m still making horses at that age!

This is one of the many sculptures of small boys with curly hair on the grounds. When my youngest son was small, he was convinced that Brookgreen was full of sculptures of him.

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3 Responses to My favorite place

  1. Diane April 1, 2008 at 11:13 pm #

    Thanks for sharing — One of my big dreams is to visit Brookgreen Gardens some day, at least before I’m dead!

  2. Lesli Kathman April 1, 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    It really is worth seeing! The place is just magical.

  3. Sarah April 2, 2008 at 2:58 am #

    Wow, I’ve been to Pawley’s Island and didn’t know it. I knew we went to Brookgreen Gardens on a high school orchestra trip to Myrtle Beach, but I didn’t really have a clue where it actually was. It was amazing and worth seeing.

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