5 Sculpture Parks Across the Globe

Get into the fresh air and enjoy the art!

By Google Arts & Culture

David Smith, Untitled (Candida) (1965) by David SmithThe Hepworth Wakefield

Legendary British sculptor, Barbara Hepworth, once said "I, the sculptor, am the landscape". Well, at the following open-air museums, the sculptures truly do become part of the landscape.

Scroll on and use the arrows, and the click-and-drag function, to explore these outdoor galleries, where nature meets art, all from the comfort of home...

Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan

At Japan's first sculpture park, opened in 1969, the collection includes over one thousand works of art by famous European sculptors like Henry Moore, Constantin Brâncuși, and Hepworth alongside Japanese artists Rokuzan Ogiwara and Taro Okamoto. Wander amongst them for yourself.

About 120 works are on permanent display across the park. The Picasso Pavilion hall alone contains 300 of the artist's works. The museum also offers sculptures children can play on and natural fed hot-spring footbaths for guests.

Xieng Khuan Buddha Park, Laos

Xieng Khuan, meaning Spirit City, contains over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues. The park was started in 1958 by Bunleua Sulilat, an eccentric, and charismatic, shaman-priest who sought to combine Hinduism and Buddhism.

Bunleua Sulilat and his devoted followers designed and built each of these sculptures from concrete, despite having no formal artistic training. After the communist revolution of 1975, he decamped across the Mekong River, and built another park in Nong Khai, Thailand.

Ladonia, Sweden

Ladonia is unusual. It's not just a sculpture park, it claims to be an independent nation. In 1980, the artist Lars Vilks started building a pair of sculptures Nimis and Arx, without permission on a remote beach in the Kullaberg nature reserve.

When they were eventually discovered, the government demanded they be removed. But locals rather enjoyed them, and they had become a tourist destination. In 1996, after a lengthy court battle, Vilks decided to declare independence, and the micronation of Ladonia was born.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, United Kingdom

The rolling hills and dales of West Bretton, Yorkshire are home to Britain's oldest sculpture parks. 500 acres of the Bretton Hall estate were given over in 1977 to display modern and contemporary sculpture in this 'gallery without walls'.

Take a moment of relaxation and contemplation in the chapel-like Deer Shelter Skyspace by American site-specific artist James Turrell. Look up through the roof window, to see a pure blue square of sky.

Carhenge, USA

For decades, people have marvelled at Carhenge. Who was it built by, and why? Carhenge comprises a collection of vintage American automobiles, spray-painted grey. Actually, it's no mystery. It was built by Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father.

The layout matches precisely the that of the original Stonehenge, which Reinders studied when he lived in England. He later added more car sculptures, and donated the 10 acre site, now known as the Car Art Reserve, to a local community group.

World Heritage Sites To Go Online (2009-11-30) by Matt CardyGetty Images

Now explore the real Stone Henge and other ancient mysteries with 5 Mysterious Ancient Sites Around the World

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