Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden Extends Seward Johnson’s “Celebrating the Familiar” Exhibit to September 7, 2020

(Featured photo: Sculpture by Seward Johnson.)*

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden has extended its Summer of Sculpture festival featuring Seward Johnson’s “Celebrating the Familiar” exhibit to September 7, by popular demand. The exhibit is a collection of 25 life-size cast bronze sculptures throughout the garden that debuted on June 22. It is supported in part by the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District. Advance online timed reservations are now required for entry to the Arboretum by calling 214-515-6615 or visiting the website at www.dallasarboretum.org

Face masks are highly encouraged in the garden, and they are required in restrooms and indoor facilities. For more information about garden procedures during this time, please see the Know Before You Go FAQ here

Johnson’s sculptures of people performing familiar tasks were created to celebrate the great value of everyday activities, and to encourage taking a moment to savor them. These activities include gardening, fishing, reading and enjoying a conversation. Creating the fine details of people’s poses, gestures and expressions are the defining elements of his work. The late Seward Johnson said about his sculptures, “I’ve chosen to sculpt ‘real life’ because in our busy society – filled with so much technology and idle distraction – it’s easy sometimes to forget the simple things that give us pleasure. If we open our eyes, life is marvelous. The human spirit triumphs, if only for moments in a day. I try to have my work call attention to those moments.” 

A sampling of the collection:

  •  Waiting to Cross highlights a young girl twirling from a stop sign.
  •  Inner World, Outer World is a man sitting on a bench reading a newspaper with pages of The Dallas Morning News specifically designed for this exhibit.
  •  Who’s in Charge highlights the joy of a son riding atop the shoulders of his father.
  •  My World shows a seated child intensely reading a book.
  •  Gotcha! features a gardener trimming bushes.
  •  Down to Earth is a sculpture of a woman kneeling at garden’s edge planting her bulbs.

 Alan Walne, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, said, “We have had such incredible feedback from visitors about how lifelike these statues are, and we want even more people to see them.” 

The Dallas Arboretum has created a one-mile path and other leisurely walking paths around the garden to make it easier to tour while social distancing. Guests can also enjoy respite in the Pecan Grove, the Jonsson Color Garden, on the Camp House Lawn and the lawn of the Lay Family Garden.

Other gardens open include the Rose Garden, Nancy Seay Magnolia Glade, Nancy’s Garden, Crape Myrtle Allee and others. Window food service is available at our Terrace Café presented by Gil’s Elegant Catering and includes a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, snacks, drinks and adult beverages. Restaurant DeGolyer and Café on the Green and Seated Tea Service are available Thursday through Sunday only, until September 17. Check the website for the latest information before visiting.

About the Dallas ArboretumThe Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through the end of June, then 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in July and August. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 2-12, and free for Arboretum members and children under two.  On-site parking is $15 or $10, if purchased in advance online. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum.  The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA, Channel 8 is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum.  

*Courtesy photo.

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