Seward Johnson Spring Lake, NJ
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Seward Johnson’s impact on the world of sculpture has not been limited to his personal artwork, and includes the founding of The Johnson Atelier and the founding of the spectacular Grounds For Sculpture. Inducted in 2014 into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, the artist regularly adds works to all of his series, and invents intriguing new chapters of his oeuvre. At 89, Seward Johnson continues to create increasingly memorable works for the public realm.



Holding Out:

Johnson’s lady with her groceries is a clear favorite from the Celebrating the Familiar series.  The incredible detail of her face, hands (note the wrinkles) and the bounty in her bags, make her one of the sculptures that can be examined for details over many visits. 

Holding Out by Seward Johnson ©1987 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc.
A boy stealing a taste of Ice Cream from an irritated girl


Weekend Painter (below)


Wine, Food and Thou (right)

A portrait of a picnic in the making! This sculpture allows the artist to feature some wonderfully realistic food items as he visually describes an afternoon outing in a meadow or beside a stream where this woman might share a meal with her friend, family or paramour.

Uninvited Advice (below)

Created in 1992, this sculpture features an artist painting on her canvas, her loyal dog at her feet, and a possibly unwelcome visitor standing behind her. With this title Johnson invites the viewers to have their own interpretation of the interaction between artist and “critic”. Notice the fine details of her bronze canvas as she paints the scene before her, as well as the in-process colors on her brush, palette and rag. She is clearly lost in the joy of painting and the gentleman’s comments may very well go unnoticed. Mr. Johnson is, no doubt, making a subtle wry statement about the relationship of art critics to the artist.
Allow Me (left):
Seward Johnson lives some of the time in New York City and he loves the activity of taxis zooming by and – especially in the rain – people vying for each cabbie’s attention. The fifth edition of this sculpture is permanently located in Portland, Oregon, outside the courthouse. It is so popular with the people of Portland, that the image of the sculpture has also been placed on the scoreboard for the Portland Trailblazers.

Keeping in Touch (bottom):
A man (or woman) and his dog. The affection and the play are parts of so many of our lives shared with pets! In “real life” when we installed this sculpture in California, the dog who posed for this sculpture saw the bronze man (posed for by his human), and kept barking and barking, asking the bronze man to toss the ball! He was truly confused when the flesh and blood man came and stood by his bronze counterpart and DID throw the ball. But then the game was on!


Return Visit (right)

This sculpture was originally created by Seward Johnson for placement in the famous and historic Gettysburg Plaza in Pennsylvania. There, where the first casting of this sculpture is still on view, Lincoln gestures with his hat toward the window where he sat writing the Gettysburg Address. Sculptor Johnson includes a contemporary man to bring the point forward that the speech Lincoln wrote then is still valid and current today. People ask or guess the identity of the modern man, but truly the man who posed for this sculpture was just a local New Jersey man. Some say he resembles Perry Como or George Bush! The artist’s intention, however, is that he represent all of us, and “everyman”.

Photo Shoot (below)

This piece was originally commissioned for the grand opening of the famous Giorgio building in the heart of Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive. A casting still resides there as a symbol of the renowned iconic store with the yellow striped awning – a tribute to Hollywood history.

Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths has been shown around the world in Germany, Monoco, Luxembourg, Spain and Italy. It fits beautifully and naturally in an ancient piazza, as it does in a hometown park in the US. This piece of two older women conversing has now been created as a 20-foot tall monumental sculpture! Seward Johnson currently has produced many monumental scale sculptures to date ranging from 20 feet to 35 feet tall. Imagine how the impact of these innocent ladies changes when they tower overhead.


Special Delivery

“As you are examining all of the details and you go up to look at his face, you are abruptly taken a-back because all of the sudden there is someone looking back at you. And you are caught.”-Seward Johnson

Big Sister (below)

Seward Johnson always speaks about the power of relationship in his sculptures. This piece focuses in on the intimate bond between these two sisters, and the older one’s caring gesture of tying the younger’s shoelace. We presume that they are now off for a walk, or to play together. These small bits of kindness are often highlighted in Johnson’s work.


Sidewalk Concert (above & below)

The intense and internal spirit of the musician is shown in this sculpture. One humorous note is that the paper money in this street player’s case are bronze bills with sculptor Seward Johnson’s own face sculpted in relief on them!

Ambassador of the Streets

“To me public art is the truest measure of a culture. It is the art that penetrates the living fabric of a culture’s life. I also like to think that my work, being a realistic rendition of humanity itself, gives a broad response reference. I enjoy adding interactive elements in my work, which engage members of the public in an intimate way.” – Seward Johnson


Who’s in Charge? (right)

A father/son moment captured in bronze by artist Seward Johnson. This sculpture has been on view all over Europe and throughout the United States, always drawing the attention of families fondly remembering this scene from their own lives.

Yuck, Go Fetch (below)

Man’s best friend is always loyal and yet sometimes needs extra encouragement. In Johnson’s “Celebrating the Familiar” sculpture Yuck, Go Fetch the Labrador Retriever lovingly looks up at his owner and doesn’t even notice the bright red Frisbee several yards away. You can see the young man gesturing and explaining that the dog should go fetch, but the canine just gazes loyally at his master. The sculpture was cast in 1990 and has many fun details to discover, especially for animal lovers. The tongue is always irresistible to touch!


Bunnies Don’t Bite

This sculpture features Seward Johnson’s incorporation of our connections with animals and how they can serve in furthering relationships between people. Here the bunny brings the two humans together in a caring task. Their pet rabbit’s fur, though bronze, evokes a visceral silkiness and the gentle rapport between the older girl and the little boy is quite evident.

See the Seward Johnson Archive page by clicking here
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