Garden Sculpture Safari at the Midwest Museum of American Art

“Garden Sculpture Safari” is designed to be an exhibit-within-an-exhibit that features 46 ceramic garden sculptures regarded originally as lawn ornaments, garden sprinklers, and architectural decorations. This approach of showing these works integrated within the context of the MMAA Permanent Collection is an effort to reanimate the familiar and create a fun experience for the visitor. A guide has been designed to allow for maximum time to find most of the objects on display.

These garden sculptures were created from the turn of the 20th Century up and through the 1920s & 1930s by the American Art Pottery Companies, Weller, Fulper, Brush McCoy, Owens, Peters & Reed, & Rookwood. With the exception of the Fulper Company which was located in New Jersey, and Rookwood, which was in Cincinnati, the aforementioned Art Potteries were located in Zanesville, Ohio. These companies made beautiful Arts & Crafts style vases, bowls, and other utilitarian but decorative objects. The lawn ornaments became a more sculptural line when they began to be created and sold. In this exhibit there are frogs, turtles, birds, squirrels, rabbits, and even gnomes.

As the Elkhart County Quilt Garden Tour begins this season, visitors don’t want to miss this opportunity to reexamine the Midwest Museum’s permanent collection galleries to see if all of the garden sculptures on display can be found. Some will be challenging to discover so looking closely is important.cluded. All of these works have been generously loaned from the renowned collection of R. Douglas & Barbara Grant of Indiana.