Brookgreen Gardens

1931 –

More than 550 pieces of sculpture are displayed in an outdoor setting, grouped with plants carefully selected to set off the smooth, classic lines of marble, bronze, and even gold-leaf figurative sculpture. In addition to works by Anna Hyatt Huntington and several contemporary sculptors, the Brookgreen collection includes pieces by Frederic Remington, Herbert Adams, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Daniel Chester French, and John Quincy Adams Ward. Ten garden “rooms” are highlighted by ponds, fountains, and sculpture set off by native plants and seasonal flowers.

The Archer M. and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden at Brookgreen rests on thirty acres of display gardens in the middle of some 9,100 acres of the South Carolina lowcountry stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Waccamaw River. The site is best known for its beautiful display gardens and its unrivaled American figurative sculpture collection, as well as its commitment to conservation and preservation. It was created in 1931 by the sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and her husband, Archer M. Huntington. They opened the nonprofit site to the public the following year. Comprised of four former rice plantations, Brookgreen was envisioned as a showcase of art and nature, a sanctuary where monumental works of art would be displayed against a tapestry of magnificent live-oak trees and towering pines.

More than 550 pieces of sculpture are displayed in an outdoor setting, grouped with plants carefully selected to set off the smooth, classic lines of marble, bronze, and even gold-leaf figurative sculpture. In addition to works by Anna Hyatt Huntington and several contemporary sculptors, the Brookgreen collection includes pieces by Frederic Remington, Herbert Adams, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Daniel Chester French, and John Quincy Adams Ward. Ten garden “rooms” are highlighted by ponds, fountains, and sculpture set off by native plants and seasonal flowers. Native animals can be observed along the wildlife trail, and the entire area has been designated a wildlife preserve. The Lowcountry Center on the grounds tells the story of the land through exhibits, plants, sculpture, and excursions.

As of 2001, nearly 200,000 visitors annually enjoyed daily tours, seasonal events, and programs at Brookgreen. The site is accredited by the American Association of Museums and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

Rawls, Walton H., ed. A Century of American Sculpture: Treasures from the Brookgreen Gardens. 2d ed. New York: Abbeville, 1988.

Tarbox, Gurdon L. Brookgreen Gardens: Where Art and Nature Meet, 1931–1991. New York: Newcomen Society of the United States, 1991.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Brookgreen Gardens
  • Coverage 1931 –
  • Author
  • Keywords commitment to conservation and preservation, former rice plantations, American Association of Museums, National Historic Landmark
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date September 26, 2021
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update August 25, 2016
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