Seward Johnson Sculpture Exhibition

Jan 5, 2019 - Apr 28, 2019


Beginning January 5, 2019, McKee Botanical Garden will feature Seward Johnson’s monumental sculpture, Embracing Peace and twenty sculptures from his Celebrating the Familiar series on display throughout the Garden from January 5 through April 28, 2019.

This exhibition includes twenty life-scale bronze figures depicting 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.”

The centerpiece of this exhibition is Johnson’s most renowned monumental bronze sculpture. At 25 feet tall, 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. The 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 Civitavecchhia, Italy. A casting of the sculpture has also been on display in Normandy, France, and is currently sited at the Bastogne War Museum in Belgium. Often associated with his works of art, Johnson’s passion for detail features an uncanny realism and spontaneity of the original pose. He is well-known for recreating life in our times in vividly realistic bronze. “We are so excited about having this iconic sculpture in the Garden and hope the community will visit us to admire its incredible stature and detail, which honors the service and sacrifice of the veterans of World War II,” stated Christine Hobart, Executive Director. (Photo to right: Embracing Peace ©2004, 2005 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc.)

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.

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).

About McKee Botanical Garden
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.

About The Seward Johnson Atelier
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
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

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