Seward Johnson Sculpture Exhibition

Jan 5, 2019 - Apr 28, 2019

Far Out by Seward Johnson © 1979 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc.

McKee Botanical Garden is currently showcasing Seward Johnson’s Celebrating the Familiar sculpture series on display throughout the Garden from January 5 to April 28, 2019. This exhibition features twenty of his life-scale bronze sculptures and his dramatic and monumental 25 ft. tall Embracing Peace sculpture. This exhibition depicts what Seward Johnson refers to as “the beautiful moments of ordinary life.” These extraordinary sculptures celebrate “the emotional and spiritual sustenance and pleasure that nature can provide to help us deal with life’s inevitable struggles.” Each of the sculptures have been carefully placed in locations where our visitors may easily mistake them as a real person going about their business doing everyday things such as washing the windows, taking a nap, reading a book, or shopping.

Inner World, Outer World by Seward Johnson © 2014 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc.

“We are so excited to feature this exhibition at McKee Botanical Garden. We feel that all of these sculptures blend in with the surroundings throughout the Garden and will surprise people as they approach each of them. Mr. Johnson’s ability to capture such intricate details are what make these sculptures so realistic and amazing,” stated Christine Hobart, Executive Director.

(Photo to right: Embracing Peace ©2004, 2005 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc.)

In addition to the twenty life-scale sculptures, the centerpiece of this exhibition is Johnson’s most renowned monumental 25 ft. tall Embracing Peace sculpture. Embracing Peace was inspired by the moment in New York City on V-J Day, August 14, 1945, that captured the jubilance of Americans when the end of world War II was announced. This artwork honors the memory of the past, reminding us of the sacrifice of a nation, and awakening younger generations to the heroic stories of the preceding generations. This sculpture has been featured in various cities across the United States from Florida to California, as well as in Times Square, NYC, Rome, Italy, and Civitavecchia, Italy. A casting of the sculpture has also been on display in Normandy, France, and is currently sited at the Bastogne War Museum in Belguium.

Following an early career as a painter, Seward Johnson, now 88, turned his talents to the medium of sculpture, both life-size and monumental. Since that time, more than 450 of his life-size cast bronze figures have been featured in private collections and museums throughout the world. His passion for detail features an uncanny realism and spontaneity of the original pose, which is often associated with his works of art. He is well-known for recreating life in our times in vividly realistic bronze.

Seward Johnson has been committed to public art throughout his career. He has long been considered one of the most widely recognized sculptors of our time. His impact on the world of sculpture includes the creation of The Johnson Atelier and the founding of Grounds for Sculpture, a 42-acre sculpture park and museum located in Hamilton, NJ. Inducted in 2014 into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Johnson continues to sculpt increasingly memorable works for public display.

Hours of Admission: Tues.-Sat., 10 am – 5:00 pm, Sun., Noon – 5 pm, closed Monday. Last admission ticket sold at 4 pm. Admission: $12 Adults, $11 Seniors, $8 Children ages 3-12. McKee members and children under 3 free. The last admission ticket is sold at 4 pm. For additional information, please visit

This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes).

McKee Botanical Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture and enhance a historic garden in a unique tropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all. McKee Botanical Garden is located at 350 US Highway 1 in Vero Beach.

The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc. was incorporated to promote the appreciation of, and education about, sculpture and public art in general, primarily through the creation, maintenance, sales and public placement of Seward Johnson’s artwork.

David and Barbara McKenna

Bill and Laura Buck – Los Mariachis
Fidelity Investments – Quiet Please
Bill and Cis Glavin – Coming Home
Stephanie P. Hurtt – Attic Trophy and Sidewalk Concert
Natalie C. Jackson – Food, Wine and Thou
Majestic 11/Cinema World – Out to Lunch
George and Sheila Marshall – A Memorable Date
Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. McCabe – There, Now You Can Grow
The Schumann Family – Nice to See You
TCPalm/Treasure Coast Newspapers – Inner World, Outer World
Bob and Connie Wood – Cat Nap

Bob and Beck Allen
Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Budden
Mr. and Mrs. James Carney
Rosalen E. Cline
Jay and Maryellen Conefry
Ann and John Dillon
Mr. and Mrs. L. Nicholas Geeslin
Bobbie and John Goodall
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert W. Gullquist
Gael and Duke Habernickel
Helen and Henry Justi
Mrs. Patrick O’Brien, Jr.
Gerri and Bob Ripp
Toni (Lee D.) Robinson
Gavin and Marcia Ruotolo
Lindy and Bill Street
Judy Tolsdorf
Frank Weise









350 US Highway 1. Vero Beach, FL 32962
Telephone (772) 794-0601
McKee Botanical Garden