Encompassing more than five acres on UCLA's North Campus, this is considered by many to be one of the premier sculpture ... More
Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden
Encompassing more than five acres on UCLA's North Campus, this is considered by many to be one of the premier sculpture collections in the country. The garden features more than 70 sculptures by such names as Alexander Calder, Auguste Rodin, David Smith and Francisco Zuniga just to name a few. The garden's collection is maintained by UCLA and continues to grow with each passing year, so there is usually something new to see each visit.
We visited the sculpture garden two days ago and it was very worthwhile. There are many life-size sculptures (primarily of people). It's also a nice place to relax, as there are benches and trees (even a small waterfall). There's a parking structure nearby ($3 for one hour, which was more than sufficient) and a very limited number of metered spaces adjacent to the garden.
The Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden upholds its status as one of the most distinguished outdoor sculpture collection in the country. Moving beyond the ordinary confinement of an art museum, the sculpture garden presents art in an open atmosphere; a place where the beauty of art can be admired within nature as part of everyday life. Constructed in a park-like fashion, students and visitors alike are free to wander the garden and gaze upon a collection of over seventy sculptures from various prominent artists. Among the many sculptures found in garden is Pensive by Deborah Butterfield. Situated at the heart of the garden, the sculpture resembles the skeletal structure of a horse. With its head bent down, one can interpret its posture as that of a horse drinking, resting, sleeping, or maybe even pondering. Whatever the meaning might be, the sculpture does live up to its title, Pensive, in that it provokes deep thoughts. This popular sculpture represents the garden as a whole for its ability to stimulate wonder and curiosity from its viewers. In a lustrous green landscape surrounded by beautiful works of art, the sculpture garden creates a serene and tranquil atmosphere. It provides the perfect place to relax, relieve stress, and contemplate. There is no doubt that the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden is one of the must-see places at UCLA.
I visited the Franklin D. Murphy sculpture garden at UCLA about two weeks ago. UCLA’s third chancellor, Franklin Murphy, believed that people would enjoy the works the most if they were a part of their daily lives. The garden, spanning over five acres, is rather expansive for an on-campus exhibition. Constructed in 1967, the outdoor exposition houses more than seventy pieces of art, including works from the famous Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, and David Smith. The types of sculptures present are diverse, including both figural and abstract designs.
When you first enter the garden, you first notice how quiet and peaceful it is. The garden has the sculptures conveniently arranged so that one could easily navigate through all the works in a systematic way. Secondly, one notices how different the works of art are. There are abstract works as simple as Button Flower by Alexander Calder, which is composed of only three geometric shapes, and works more complicated, such as Standing Women by Gaston Lachaise, a lifelike representation of a woman. An especially creative work is Pensive, by Deborah Butterfield. This piece depicts what looks to be a skeletal-like horse made of wood, but upon closer examination, one realizes the material is actually metal. These are only a few of the many appealing works in the garden.
There is a variety of reasons to visit the garden. Although some sculptures are basic, the pieces easily attract your attention. They are titled, but some are ambiguous on purpose, invoking imagination and thought. Perhaps one of the more compelling reasons for one to visit the sculpture garden is the fact that it is located in UCLA. After or before taking a short walk to the garden, you might consider touring the rest of the campus as well. The location is easy to reach, and, if you get lost, do not worry; there is always a friendly student willing to help.
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