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The two RV Gypsies stopped at
Brunel Sculpture Park
Boiceville, New York
August 30, 2014
USA map showing location of NY stateNY state map showing locaiton Ulster County

The studio and sculpture garden is located on a 1.3-acre lot at the intersection of Da Silva and Route 28, approximately a half-mile south of the small hamlet of Boiceville. The area is primarily wooded, with the land generally sloping westward.

There are nine resources on the property. Seven (the sculptures and totem poles are art objects and three are buildings: the studio, a shed and a log cabin fronting on Da Silva. The latter was built in 1960 to serve as a souvenir store and is thus not old enough to be considered a contributing resource to the National Register listing.

The Emile Brunel Sculpture Garden and Studio is also known as the Totem Indian Trading Post, Le Chalet Indian, and Brunel Park.

Brunel was a French immigrant and artist who had become fascinated by the Native American tribes of the West during his travels there in the early 20th century. After a successful career as a photographer he bought a tract of land in the Catskills and built a studio residence and a resort on it, decorated with sculptures inspired by the Native American art he had seen. The resort closed and the statues were relocated soon thereafter when Route 28 was widened through it at the end of World War II, but the sculpture garden remained a popular roadside attraction afterwards.

In 1929 Brunel began construction of a studio residence on the site in the "neo-rustic" or French Arts and Craft style. His wife and daughter kept the sculpture garden maintained after his death in 1944, operating a nearby souvenir shop until 1985. The artist's home and studio remain intact, and were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Brunel Park sign
Brunel Sculpture Park sign

The two RV Gypsies walked up a short path west of the house and past the house and totem poles to the sculpture garden. It did feel strange walking next to a house even though the sign said it was a sculpture park and on the National Register of Historic Places, which in the minds of the two RV Gypsies, made it a place for visitors to stop at.

totem pole
totem pole

Below: The Great White Spirit, was located in the north corner of the sculpture park. It is a tree with spreading roots. At its top are four faces representing Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. They are complemented by four faces at the base, representing the vices of jealousy, greed, hate and lust. Alternatively the four faces at the base represent the anti-thesis of those on top: Jesus and Satan; Moses and Pharaoh; Bhudda and Mara, the king of Demons; and Mohammed and Bacchus, the God of wine. The work was Brunel's last and also serves as his monument, as his ashes are interred within it.

tall sculpture at Brunel Sculpture Park
Lee Duquette and a tall sculpture at Brunel Sculpture Park
sculpture close-up
laughing alien sculpture

Below: Natache is a seated female figure with one hand held aloft. On her back is a child in a papoose. OOPs, Karen didn't get a photo of the papoose on her back.

naked lady sculpture - Natache

Below: Moon Haw Haw is a male figure with a single feather at the rear of his head looking skyward towards the Burroughs Range to the west with both arms outstretched, palms facing upwards.

Indian sculpture - Moon Haw Haw
frog sculpture
owl tree

FYI: During their travels, the two RV Gypsies have photographed many sculptures and sculpture parks. More can be seen by choosing the TOC button above and then choosing the red button that says Sculptures. But if you go there, remember to return to this page to see the rest of New York and the 2014 travels of the two RV Gypsies.

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Menu for the two RV Gypsies in New York
August 30, 2014 - September 4, 2014
You may view these sections in any order you choose.

Opus 40 - The Quarryman's Museum

Saugerties Lighthouse

Brunel Sculpture Park in Boiceville

Woodstock

'Fabulous Furniture' & Sculptures

Lake George Village

World's Largest Kaleidoscope

Ausable Chasm

Natural Stone Bridge (3 pages)

High Falls Gorge

Saugerties-Woodstock KOA & NY signs

King Phillips Campground

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go to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies: VermontAFTER you have seen all of the above sections, please continue on to Vermont and the haystack scavenger hunt and trivia