Seward Johnson’s sculptures are on display this summer at Old Westbury Gardens

Visitors to Long Island’s Old Westbury Gardens can expect more than just a flowery landscape this summer, as 35 life-size sculptures by the late renowned artist Seward Johnson are on display.

Seward Johnson, who died aged 89 in 2020, was known for his realistic life-size sculptures.

Exhibition curator Paul Hunchak said the work depicts ordinary people doing ordinary things, such as flying a kite, dancing and eating.

“It’s a chance for people to come back, even people who have visited the gardens in the past, we want them to come back and revisit the familiar,” Hunchak said. “It’s another way to see the gardens in a different way. To see the gardens and the park from another angle. ”

Hunchak said Johnson left the statue’s skin unpainted to remove race from display and to reflect diversity in America.

“Everything is realistic in terms of their pose, everything is painted in normal colors as you would expect,” Hunchak said. “But they left the skin tones in the bronze patina. So there is a bit of ambiguity as to whether it is a particular ethnic group or not. It really doesn’t matter, that’s what the artist says.

Old Westbury Gardens is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. Guests must purchase a ticket on line before arriving.

“Re-Visiting the Familiar: Seward Johnson at the Gardens” runs until September 5.