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A Visit to deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum

Whimsical Art in Harmony with Nature & the OutdoorsA Visit to deCordova Sculpture Park  Museum

deCordova Sculpture Park is a popular site for families and picnickers. Located at 51 Sandy Pond Road in Lincoln, MA, the Museum and Sculpture Gardens house rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, year round.

deCordova Sculpture Park

photo credit: BostonCentral

The Museum grounds are a pleasure to wander.  Beautifully landscaped lawns, forests, fields, gardens, and terraces dwell on a rolling site along the shore of Flint’s Pond. 

photo courtesy of deCordova Museum

The rolling lawn which would be to the right on the building (in the photograph above) is where most of the art & sculpture can be found.   There are also wooded paths to enjoy between the Museum building and Flint Pond.   

deCordova Sculpture Park - Ami Sao

photo credit: BostonCentral

Throughout the year, visitors can enjoy a dynamic slate of rotating exhibitions, innovative learning opportunities, a constantly changing 30-acre landscape of large-scale, outdoor, modern and contemporary sculpture, and site-specific installations.

deCordova Sculpture Park

photo credit: BostonCentral

There are some peaceful wooded trails behind the museum to explore.  DeCordova also offers educational programming for families, included with admission. 

deCordova Sculpture Park

photo credit: BostonCentral

"Venusvine":  By combining human form with natural motifs, Richard Rosenblum endows his sculptures with a mystic connection to nature. 

photo credit: Aaron Curry

You'll find approximately 65 sculptures on display, some permanent and others in a seasonal rotation, so there is always something new to discover. 

photo credit: BostonCentral

"Listening Stone". As a sculptor, Joseph Wheelwright was often inspired to see the figurative within found natural objects, adding and embellishing features where necessary. He is best known for collecting large boulders that had the potential for transformation, and carved them into human forms.

Established in 1950 and located just 20 miles west of Boston, deCordova is dedicated to fostering the creation and exploration of contemporary sculpture and art. 

photo credit: BostonCentral

Half the fun is just strolling the grounds to see what you'll find nestled here and there.  For instance, in the photo below, you can see a sculpture of some sort of large bird at the lower center near the stairs.

photo credit: BostonCentral

Upon closer inspection, it's an angry goose holding a golf ball in it's beak. I mean, why not?

photo credit: BostonCentral  | Artist Kitty Wales: Feral Goose

It's a terrific place to get lost in your thoughts and to ponder the art and nature that surrounds you.  

photo credit: BostonCentral

You mind find just giant whimsical shapes emerging playfully from the ground.  

Or some geometric cubes made of woven sticks.  That's art made from nature!

photo credit: BostonCentral | Artist: Maren Hassinger (Monument 3)

Or you might stumble upon these terrific giant "fort trees" with branches that cascade down to create really cool hideaways during the summer.  These trees can be found on the lower front lawn.

decordova sculpture park

photo credit: BostonCentral

"Humming": Juame Plensa’s figural sculptures invite rumination on the connections between a person’s interior thoughts and his/her physical presence in the world. His elongated portraits of everyday people are at once anonymous, universal, and tranquil. 

photo credit: BostonCentral

For Turrets Tops, (below) an original outdoor commission, Leeza Meksin created two life-sized replicas of deCordova’s iconic Museum building turrets in the Park. They are open like teepees and the view of the light from inside is full of vibrant energy.

photo courtesy of deCordove Museum

photo credit: BostonCentral

As inviting as some sculptures look, (like this one below), climbing on them is not permitted.  It's still fun to frolic around them in this gorgeous natural environment.

photo credit: BostonCentral

The sculpture garden is a really fun place for creative photo ops and to explore your imagination.  It's also a great place to go for a stroll with a friend, a small group or even solo!

photo credit: BostonCentral | Artist: Maren Hassinger (Monument 3)

The Musical Fence by artist Paul Matisse is an interactive public artwork that combines sculpture and music.  The sculpture was first commissioned in 1980 by the Cambridge Arts Council and was one of two fences installed outside of the Cambridge City Hall.

photo courtesy of deCordova Museum

Despite its immense popularity within the community, the installation was taken down after forty days due to noise complaints.  Now permanently displayed at deCordova, it has become a visitor favorite as one of the few interactive sculptures in the Park.

photo credit: BostonCentral

Visitors of all ages will enjoy a visit.   It's especially nice on a warm summer day.

Bring a blanket, or just lie down on a patch of grass and look up to see some of nature's own artwork at play.   Depending on the season you'll see a different canvas each time.

photo credit: BostonCentral

Contemporary Art can spark some great conversations.  What do these glass doors represent?  Why are they arranged in this way?  How did they get the wood grain to show up so well in the glass?  

Saul Melman’s art (Best of All Possible Workds) below, explores processes of alchemy and transformation. An emergency room physician, he often takes as his subject the transitional moment between life and death or the boundary between inanimate and animate states of being. 

photo credit: BostonCentral

Visit the Museum grounds & Sculpture Park for a morning stroll, a picnic lunch, or an afternoon excursion.  Admission rates apply.  The property is now, a part of the Trustees of Reservations, so you can visit for free if you are a member.  

"Pasture Song" pictured below, was created by artist Nancy Milliken.  "Thousands of re-claimed cello bundles have been hand tied to netting presenting movement in the wind, loosening the material from its former task as cello bows allowing the horse hair to play in the breeze, closer to the way it moved on the horse".

photo credit & artist: Nancy Milliken

Well worth a visit any time of year, exploring the grounds will reveal all sorts of creative wonders, both natural and crafted. 

Pets are welcome in the Sculpture Park. Dogs must be walked on a leash at all times. All photos credited to BostonCentral unless otherwise noted.  Hope to see you there!

For more ideas about fun things to do in Boston anytime of year, we have oodles of options for you our Boston events calendar .

stacey sao

Stacey Sao has been the Managing Director of the family-friendly events and activities website, BostonCentral for over 20 years.  She continues to enjoy discovering and exploring new places to visit in the Greater Boston area.