Sunday on the Island of Art History (Continued)

Before heading to Grounds for Sculpture (see the post below), I started off the day not by observing the history of art but by taking in the present of art. I enjoyed exploring Trenton’s Art All Night, an amazing once-a-year event that showcases art by the people and for the people.

Staged in the old Roebling Wire Works factory building, the 24-hour program offers free admission to the public and invites artists of all ages to submit their artwork for free. The inventive setting, the feel-good atmosphere of food stands and live music, and the variety and beauty of the art made for a delightful event that demonstrated that true artists are all around us.

Here are some pictures from my trip to Art All Night. The first one is with my dad – it was Father’s Day, after all! The second one is a re-creation of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph V-J Day in Times Square. While most of the hundreds of impressive pieces were not based on art history, I was excited to find this re-creation, too!


Sunday on the Island of Art History

Father’s Day became Daughter’s Day when I wanted to visit a local gem for an art history enthusiast: Grounds for Sculpture. On a beautiful, sprawling property in Hamilton, New Jersey, this verdant park showcases both modern sculptures by contemporary artists and, to my delight, sculptured re-creations of famous works of art history.

Making it my mission to find all of the sculptures that depict legendary masterpieces, I spent a charming day with my parents and some very familiar faces – a girl with a pearl earring, a boating party having lunch, and a disturbed man on a bridge, to name a few.

(If you are planning your own visit to this incredible stop, please note that it is no walk in the park – pun intended – to find these re-creations. Grounds for Sculpture does not label them with their original names or offer a map that organizes them.)

Grounds for Sculpture made art history come alive! Below are photographs that show me interacting with Seward Johnson’s sculptures. Listed below the photographs are the original paintings and their artists.

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Picture Re-creation: Whistler’s Mother

James McNeill Whistler painted Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 in 1871. Ever heard of it? This iconic work is much more famous under the title Whistler’s Mother, and I decided to re-create it. I might not be Anna McNeill Whistler, but hopefully my version comes close to replicating this masterpiece.


Take a good look at the re-creation. Do you spot any element that does not match the original? Hint: Look at the picture to the left!

Picture Re-creation: Vitruvian Man

Around 1490, Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci sketched Vitruvian Man to depict geometrically perfect human proportions. About 523 years later, I had an in-the-box idea (get it?) and gave this masterpiece a female makeover. Something tells me that da Vinci used different tools to aid him, as I found an iPhone camera and Microsoft Word’s “Remove Background” button quite helpful.

Here is what I affectionately call Vitruvian Woman:

vitruvian woman

As Protagoras said, “Woman is the measure of all things.” (Okay, maybe he said, “Man is the measure of all things.”)

Edible Art: The Starry Night

As you may have guessed from the About page and Heartwork’s background, Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night is my favorite painting because of its sentimental value – it is the work that inspired my lasting love of art history! When I received Karen Tack and Alan Richardson’s book Hello, Cupcake! as a gift, I knew exactly which adorable cupcake creation would be my first experiment: a delicious rendition of The Starry Night with cupcakes as the canvas and icing as the paint.

Twelve hours after I first put the cupcake batter in the oven, my very own van Gogh masterpiece was finished – and I even framed it! Take a look:



Picture Re-creation: Freedom from Want

Norman Rockwell’s works transport the viewer to a bygone era of simple joys, and Freedom from Want is no exception. Created to depict one of the Four Freedoms enumerated in President Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union, the charming vision of a family gathered around a Thanksgiving table is one of my favorites.

Thanksgiving 2012 found my extended family in New Orleans, and I announced that I wanted to stage Rockwell’s masterpiece at our own Thanksgiving table. Here’s the final product:


My history with Rockwell did not start there! I was lucky enough to go to the “Rockwell’s America: Celebrating the Art of Norman Rockwell” exhibit, which featured three-dimensional versions of Rockwell’s paintings, when it arrived at Pennsylvania’s King of Prussia Mall in December 2009.

Picture Re-creation: American Gothic

Back in 2011, my family journeyed to the fabled Iowa State Fair, a delightful conglomeration of colorful rides, grape-stomping contests (my siblings and I placed third out of three), and fried foods on sticks. On the way there, I asked to stop in Eldon, Iowa, home of the Dibble House.

What’s the Dibble House? It is the white home with the iconic Gothic window that Grant Wood immortalized in his 1930 masterpiece American Gothic. The American Gothic House Center provides replica costumes and pitchforks so that tourists can snap their own versions of American Gothic in front of the actual house. This experience was a true highlight of our vacation in the heartland.

Without further ado, I present to you my first-ever picture recreation!


Fun fact: Did you know that the woman is meant to be the man’s daughter? I, like the rest of the world, fancied her his wife. Well, in this photo, I’m his sister.