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Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden Rating: None

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Located just a stone?s throw away from the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden was developed to exhibit sculptures in a natural al fresco venue. The sculpture garden boasts of several masterpieces from highly acclaimed artists including Auguste Rodin and Henry Moore.

The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden was inaugurated in 2003 and occupies a 2-hectare land. Most of the masterpieces here were gifted by Walda Besthoff and Sydney Besthoff who began amassing 20th century sculptural pieces in 1973. The sculptures were given to the Museum of Art. The museum provided the land property. Through the contributions of more or less 20 donors, the construction of the sculpture garden commenced. One-third of the garden was wrecked by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The garden underwent a renovation which lasted for three months and it resumed accepting guests in December 2005.

When the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden opened its doors, it initially held an exhibit consisting of 50 sculptures made by gurus from different countries across the globe. The pieces were curated in such a way that it surrounds a central lagoon. The garden is the fruit of the collaboration between landscape architect Brian Sawyer and Lee Ledbetter. Set against a magnificent natural backdrop, wandering around the curving pathways of the sculpture garden is a rejuvenating experience. Visitors can enjoy a scenic walk with old oak trees. There are also a number of pocket plazas which can be accessed via pedestrian bridges.

Of course, the centerpiece of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden are the sculptures themselves. Some of the renowned artists whose works are featured here Paul Manship who made the Prometheus sculpture at NYC?s Rockefeller Center; Jaume Plensa who became popular because of the Crown Fountain; Louise Bourgeois who became well-known because of her gigantic spiders; Henry Moore who is arguably the most renowned sculptor of the 20th century; and Auguste Rodin who is considered to be the ?Father of Modern Sculpture.?

The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden?s acquisition of new sculptural pieces is still on-going. For those who want to visit this al fresco museum to wonder at the masterpieces or even just to reconnect with nature, brochures are available at the garden?s entrance on Duelling Oaks Drive. The brochures give a backgrounder on all the sculptures exhibited in the garden. Access to the garden is totally free.
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