The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, a 132 are botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park has been ranked as one of the top “30 Must-See Museums” in the world and one of the most-visited art museums worldwide.
The Lena Meijer Conservatory at Meijer Gardens
is a five-story, 15,000-square-foot facility featuring rock landscapes by designer Philip di Giacomo and plant selections by garden designer Stephen Rosselet. It houses tropical plants from around the world, including coconut palms from the Pacific, fig trees from India, exotic orchids from Central and South America, Asiatic bamboo and banana trees. Additional indoor gardens include the nation’s most comprehensive carnivorous plant house, arid house, featuring Saguaro cacti, and Victorian conservatory.
In addition, there are a dozen species of tropical birds making their home in the protected, glass-enclosed structure.
Meijer Gardens includes a 30-acre outdoor sculpture park, which opened on May 16, 2002. It features more than 170 sculptures by world-renowned artists and includes numerous monumental sculptures exhibited outdoors, throughout all areas of the property, as well as indoors in the conservatory, specialty gardens and gallery.
Among the many highlights for visitors is Nina Akamu’s The American Horse,
created in homage to Leonardo da Vinci’s original commission by the Duke of Milan
as well as selected works by Rodin and
Degas featured in the Victorian Conservatory.
The many significant works of art within the Park are placed within a variety of natural settings and gardens,
and connected by waterways,
meandering paths, lawns, meadows and quiet walkways. Where the sculptures appear to be painted, the artist has achieved his/her desired coloration effect through a process called patina … on metal, patina is a coating of various chemical compounds such as oxides, carbonates, sulfides, or sulfates formed on the surface during exposure to atmospheric elements (oxygen, rain, acid rain, carbon dioxide, sulfur-bearing compounds), a common example of which is rust which forms on iron or steel when exposed to oxygen.
Overlooking one section of the Park was a sculpture commissioned by Frederik’s wife, Lena … the two of them together on a park bench.