The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens encompass the works of an artist’s entire lifetime. Named after Ann Norton, these Gardens are a standing example of the artist’s growth and maturity over the decades. Apart from being a lovely setting for the sculpture gardens, this site is also the historic home and artist studio of Ann Norton.
Located in West Palm Beach, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are as peculiar as the ascetic woman they are named after and deserve to be recognized by a larger public. These Gardens are relevant for any person of any age and everyone who visits them is captivated by the works of this truly American sculptor.
Ann Norton was the wife of the founder of the Norton Museum of Art. She was born in Alabama as Ann Vaughn Weaver and got her first sculpting tool when she was eight years old. Ann attended Smith College and then moved to New York to study at the National Academy of Design, Arts Student League of New York and Cooper Union.
During her life, Ann Norton went through various artistic periods and adopted several concepts. Her artistic studio at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens covers her journey as an artist and sculptor through four decades as reflected in her works. She created varied works in bronze, stone and wood.
Amidst their jungle setting, Ann Norton’s sculptures look gigantic and mysterious, warm and inviting at the same time. Most of these sculptures are part of her “Gateways” series, made in the 1970s and early ’80s. But Seven Figures, completed in 1965, is more personal, with its ghostly 12-foot tall “beings” or “spirits” staring thoughtlessly in every direction. And you can’t take your eyes off the untitled horizontal, brick sculpture in the reflecting pool near the house, whose humped back is a familiar site to drivers on Flagler Drive.
The gardens themselves are a great delight for their own beauty and freshness apart from being home for so many amazing works by the artist. There are around 300 species of palms, native and exotic plants, offering a visual treat to visitors. There are beautiful paths winding through the gardens and sheltered benches where you can sit and reflect on the marvelous scene.
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens offers a rare and complete picturesque view of an artist’s vision in its authentic and intended surroundings. The garden designed in collaboration with Sir Peter Smithers stands as the last part of artist’s concept of her work and heritage. Located in the midst of many high rise buildings, the gardens stand as a testament to artist’s commitment to preserve tranquility and solitude where one can sit and spend a few hours, away from the noise and rush of everyday life.
The beauty and serenity of the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens would make a lovely site for your next Palm Beach County event.