On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, the installation of the dramatic and monumental Embracing Peace bronze sculpture of a sailor and a nurse, by renowned artist Seward Johnson, will take place at McKee Botanical Garden. This sculpture, which stands at an astonishing 25 ft. tall and weighs 30,100 lbs., will arrive on a flatbed semi-trailer and will be hoisted into the Royal Palm Grove of the Garden by a crane. Visitors and McKee members will be able to admire its grandeur beginning on Wednesday, December 12. This is the first sculpture to be displayed throughout the Garden during this year’s exhibition which also includes 20 bronze sculptures from Seward Johnson’s Celebrating the Familiar series, which begins on January 5, 2019 through April 28, 2019.
Embracing Peace, the centerpiece of this exhibition, is Johnson’s most renowned sculpture, which honors 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 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.
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 bronze figures have been featured in private collections and museums throughout the world.
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
350 US Highway 1
Vero Beach FL
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