Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens – West Palm Beach

Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
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Published in Arts & Culture

The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens consist of the former residence of sculptor Ann Weaver Norton (1905 -1982), the widow of Ralph Hubbard Norton. The residence is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The two-acre property features a collection of 250 species of tropical palms adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway and next to downtown West Palm Beach.

The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Inc. is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) operating foundation established in 1977 by the prominent sculptor Ann Weaver Norton. The organization is devoted to exhibiting works of other artists, preserving the founder’s studio, historic home and displaying her monumental sculptures in a secluded urban preserve where a notable collection of rare palms is continually being developed.

Ann Norton’s monumental, silent, mysterious sculptures built in situ over a period of 15 years were meant to be discovered as surprises amongst the thick, tropical jungle-like vegetation. The Gardens were designed by world-renowned botanist Sir Peter Smithers as a unique and valuable palm garden. The Gardens represent Ann’s commitment to conservation and the preservation of a quiet retreat amid a bustling city.

The Gardens were designed by Ann Norton and Sir Peter Smithers. The largest tract of garden containing the great brick sculptures is designed in a natural, unmanicured style. The experience of coming across Norton’s mysterious monoliths as surprises in their lush green jungle-like setting is akin to discovering another world.

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