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The two RV Gypsies at Brookgreen Gardens
Murrells Inlet (near Myrtle Beach)
South Carolina
October 16, 2014
South Carolina map showing location of Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens is a combination of art and history, and it touches the heart and teaches the mind. Boat rides turn into history lessons and a visit to the butterfly house becomes a lesson in conservation. Admission is good for seven days. 

sign: Brookgreen Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens is a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve, located just south of Murrells Inlet in South Carolina. The 9,100-acre property includes several theme gardens with American figurative sculptures placed in them, the Lowcountry Zoo, and trails through several ecosystems in nature preserves on the property. It was founded by Archer Milton Huntington, stepson of railroad magnate Collis Potter Huntington, and his wife Anna Hyatt Huntington to feature sculptures by Anna and her sister Harriet Hyatt along with other American sculptors. Brookgreen Gardens was opened in 1932, and is built on four former rice plantations, taking its name from the former Brookgreen Plantation.

Fighting Stallions - by Anna Hyatt Huntington at the garden park entrance.

Fighting Stallions garden park entrance

The two RV Gypsies stopped for lunch at the Pavilion Restaurant. They enjoyed eating in the outdoor section. The food was very good.

Lee Duquette ready for lunch
sign: Brookgreen Gardens

history bookEarly history

Originally, what is now Brookgreen Gardens was four rice plantations. The plantations from south to north were The Oaks, Brookgreen, Springfield, and Laurel Hill. The current gardens and surrounding facilities lie completely on the former Brookgreen Plantation, which was owned by Joshua John Ward, the largest American slaveholder.

Only a handful of relics survive on the former plantations. The Alston (or Allston) Cemetery survives on the grounds of The Oaks plantation. Gov. James Alston and his child are buried in the cemetery. The same grave is a memorial to the governor's wife Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of Vice President Aaron Burr, who was lost at sea. Her ghost is said to haunt the Grand Strand, looking for her father. The rice mill at Laurel Hill is all that remains of the plantation today. During the American Civil War, Confederates built an earthen structure on the grounds to block Union ships from coming into the tidal rivers.

history bookThe Huntington's history

It is the creation of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington of Connecticut, who purchased four plantations to open the garden to showcase her sculptures. It is the country's first public sculpture garden and has the largest collection of figurative sculpture by American artists in an outdoor setting in the world. It is also a nature and historical preserve with a small zoo, and a nature exhibition center.

Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington first visited the property in 1929. Because they were captivated by the beauty of it, they purchased nearly 9,100 acres of forest, swamp, rice fields and beachfront. They intended to establish a winter home on the Atlantic, but Anna saw the potential of the property and they quickly began to develop her vision of making it the showcase for her sculptures. Archer, stepson of philanthropist Collis Huntington, and Anna have donated property and contributed much to U.S. arts and culture in a number of states. Her sculpture of Joan of Arc is a feature of New York City's Riverside Park.

The National Sculpture Society Annual Awards Exhibit runs through November 2, 2014. During that time, visitors could cast a ballot for their favorite piece to win the People's Choice Award. Free with garden admission. Below is just a few of the sculptures. The two RV Gypsies are not suggesting any favoritism towards voting. This website is strictly a fun site of the two RV Gypsies travel adventures.

National Sculpture Society Exhibition

Bronze Sculptures

"Vixen"
by Bart Walter, Westminster, MD

"Making a Stand" by Richard Loffler
from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada_
The running of the railroad west had a great hand in almost wiping out the wild Plains Bison. This piece represents a prime bull Plains Bison standing proudly over a disheveled railway tie because a few insightful men decided to same some of the bison for posterity.

Bronze Sculpture - Vixen
Bronze Sculpture Najubg a Stand

"Joy in the Morning" by Roy Madsen from San Diego, California - This sculpture derives from watching a young bull elephant tossing his head, trumpeting, and running in circles.

Bronze Sculpture - Joy in the morning

"Seeing Things Whole" by Walter Matia,
from Dickerson, MD

"Jackpot" by Joshua Tobey from Loveland, CO

Bronze Sculpture - Seeing things Whole
Bronze Sculpture - Jackpot - Jackrabbit

"Jack!!" a Ceramic Sculpture
by Pamela Mummy
from Edmonds, Washington

"Blue Lotus" a bronze and plate steel sculpture
by Deon Dunca from salt Lake City, Utah -
One can read "sports sculpture"
or see transcendence, spirituality and grace.

Jack in the box
sculpture - Blue Lotus
sign by Stephen Layne
wood and metal sculpture

Leaving The National Sculpture Society exhibit, the two RV Gypsies admired a big oak tree, and then turned their attention to the four "Circle Of Life" statues.

big oak tree

"Circle of Life" by Harold "Tuck" Langland (born 1939) - Using the metaphor of dance, this group of four figures represents the cycles of human life, four seasons, four elements, and four directions, Each figure has an accompanying poem written by the sculptor.

sign
sign
Circle of Life statue 1
Circle of Life statue 2
sign
sign
Circle of Life statue  3
Circle of Life statue 4

About 1,445 works of American figurative sculpture were displayed at the Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden. Many of the works are creations of sculptress Hyatt Huntington, but other artists were also featured. Walkways and garden paths linked the sculptures in their distinctive garden, fountain, or landscape settings, with vistas of the scenery surrounding them.

Brookgreen Gardens was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The sculpture garden portion, 551 acres of Brookgreen Gardens, was included in the designation of Atalaya and Brookgreen Gardens as a National Historic Landmark in 1984.

Sculpture Garden plaque

Diana of the Chase - (Diana Pool)

Diana of the Chase pond and statue
Diana of the Chase pond and statue
sign about The Visionaries
The Visionaries monument and pool
backside of The Visionaries monument and pool
sign about Narcissus marble statue
Narcisus
reclection
sign about Jaguar bronze stateu
Jaguar bronze stateu

Palmetto Garden - "Samson and the Lion"

Samson and the Lion and waterfall Samson and the Lion
Samson and the Lion, waterfall, and garden horse

The Palmetto Garden, named for the use of Sable Palmetto South Carolina's state tree, was completed in 1950.  Photos of flowers in this area are in the flower section below.

sign

A bat sculpture in the
Children's Garden

water turkey statue bat sculpture

Lee enjoyed the Diana sculpture that was displayed in a beautiful garden fountain setting.

the Diana sculpture and Lee Duquette the Diana sculpture and fountain

"Pegasus" and great reflections in the pond.

Pegasus sign Pegasus and Lee Duquette
Pegasus and Karen Duquette Karen Duquette and reflection

Below: The base of the "Pegasus" statue and its upside-down reflection in the pond.

Pegasus reflection

go to page 2 of Brookside Gardens Please continue on to Page 2 of Brookgreen Gardens. There was just so many wonderful sculptures, ponds, trees and flowers that they just had to be put on more than one page so that the photos could upload faster and be more enjoyable for everyone.