Straube Center in the News:
Handle with Care - The Times

By: JANET PURCELL


Photo by Mary Iuvone

Something new has come to historic Pennington—a sculpture garden with art that can be touched, art that can be enjoyed on a leisurely walk or as you sit on the gleaming white benches in dappled sunlight filtering through the tall shade trees. Art that has been created by nationally and internationally known artists,   And, thanks to Hildegard and Win Straube, it’s all free.  It’s simply there for public enjoyment.

Exhibiting art has been an ongoing tradition at the Straube Center Office Park for more than thirty years.  Rotating exhibitions have displayed two- and three-dimensional works in the lobbies, meeting rooms and hallways of the buildings on site. 

“Hildegard and I have been enjoying three-dimensional art for a long time and thought it would be good to make it more accessible to everybody and not just to look at.  In a touch-deprived world, you should be able to connect with these things. I thought our office park is an ideal venue for sculptures,” Straube says.


Photo by Michael Mancuso

Some of the sculptures will be on permanent display while some will be on exhibition temporarily, thus allowing rotation and variety. Most of the works will be available for purchase and 100% of the funds will go directly to the artist. 

As Straube’s idea began to germinate, he contacted award-winning film maker Richard Butterfoss who is a long-time Pennington resident and knows the community well and invited him to be curator of sculpture for the endeavor.  Butterfoss’s connection with the sculptors who exhibit or work at Grounds For Sculpture opened the doors for displaying works of very high caliber.

 


Photo by Mary Iuvone

For example, an exquisite work by Carole A. Feuerman, who has exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is on display in a shaded area behind Building One. Titled  “Shower,” this is a pure white torso of a woman supposedly luxuriating in a refreshing fall of water.  Feuerman’s work is in collections of former president Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton, Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Russian president, Gorbachov, among many others. 

A clothed female figure can also be seen on display in that area.  It is positioned indoors looking out through a glass wall.  It is one of Cynthia Eardley’s well-known figurative sculptures.  Eardley’s work has been discussed in the New York Times, Village Voice, The Nation, and ArtNews, to name just a few publications,  She teaches sculpture, anatomy, and art history at the New York Academy of the Graduate School of Figurative Art.

 



Photos by Mary Iuvone

While you’re in that area, take note of the sculptures installed on the ridge that surrounds it and, while enjoying those works, walk over to visit the humorous piece on display by J. Seward Johnson.  Called “Holier Than Thou,” it is a tidily dressed, obviously finicky, gentleman dropping a piece of trash in a wire receptacle. 

If you’ve driven down Bixby’s Way lately, I’m sure you haven’t missed Dana Stewart’s critter whose tail rises seventeen feet into the air, or, just across the driveway that leads to the Cambridge School, Harry Gordon’s massive “Popper One.”

These are just a few of the many outdoor works to be enjoyed.  However, more are on display indoors also.  In Building “I” you will find a collection of cast metal sculptures of dancers by Gyuri Hollosy along with his large and dramatic paintings of sunflowers.  Hollosy’s dancers are intriguing in that when they are repositioned they take on a whole new life and the figures wrap around each other in a rhythm that seems both physical and emotional. Hollosy’s imposing bust of the late sculptor Isaac Witkin oversees the collection.

And over at  the 100 Building, which also is home to The Cambridge School, you will find Richard Gerster’s impressive bust, “The Conductor” and his “Eagle.”  Gerster taught at the Johnson Atelier and served as the personal assistant to its president, J. Seward Johnson.

Also exhibiting are sculptors, Rory Mahon, Ayami Aoyama, Autin Wright, Carl Frankel, D. J. Haslett, and Michael Gyampo.

“From now on we will have permanent sculptures on extended view,” Win Straube says.  “This will be a permanent sculpture garden where people can bring their children and all can be exposed to fascinating art.”

 

 

One Straube Center Blvd • Pennington, NJ 08534 • Phone: 609-737-3322 • E-mail:
Straube Center Boulevard surrounded by Route 31, West Franklin Ave., Knowles Ave.-Bixby’s Way, and Broemel Place