Welcome to Foliage Finder, where Curbed takes a look at public and private landscape projects around the Bay Area. Gardens will be chosen at random, but do drop us a line if you'd like to see a certain area featured.
In 1994, ten master carvers were flown in from Papua New Guinea by anthropology department graduate student Jim Mason, and asked to engage their remarkably otherworldly work with one of our natural California landscapes. Over the course of their four month residency they created the sinuous carvings you can still see today in the aptly named Stanford New Guinea Sculpture Garden.
The Sculpture Garden shares space with highly graphic aloes, yuccas, and other California natives. The works themselves are sited very intentionally in corners and clearings throughout the cedar and oak grove just south of the Bechtel International Center. The Papua New Guineans were given free rein to develop as many or as little sculptures as they saw fit, based on the inspiration they felt while living and working in this setting. In Mason's own words, "an opportunity to experiment with and reinterpret New Guinea aesthetic perspectives within the new context of a Western public art space."
Here's the 411:
Can I visit the garden? -- You bet. The Sculpture Garden is open the same hours as the Stanford campus at large.
How much does it cost? -- Only for parking, if one chose to drive in. Coin operated meters are located in close proximity to the garden, and a visitor's day pass can be purchased for $12 in the parking lots or at the meters.
What's so great about this garden? -- Other than the noted wood and stone sculptures, the garden features a variety of local succulents and trees.
· Stanford Anthro Dept. [Stanford University, Palo Alto]