Last summer I was driving through the town square in Crown Point, Indiana, when I noticed two men in suits standing on a corner deep in conversation. It took me a few seconds to realize it was a sculpture. In the next few minutes I saw a man holding an umbrella and a photographer taking a picture of the courthouse. When I stopped in at Carriage Court Pizza, there was a woman sunning herself on a chaise lounge in their courtyard. These sculptures were all part of the Seward Johnson collection of sculptures on display as part of Crown Point’s public art project.
I took a quick picture of the photographer last year and intended to return to do the rest, but the summer flew by and the sculptures disappeared before I got around to it. I was thrilled to see that a whole new exhibit of Seward Johnson sculptures returned to Crown Point this year, mostly around the Old Lake County Courthouse.
Most of this year’s twelve sculptures portray real-life America, including a woman walking a dog, a man tossing trash into a trash basket and people sitting on benches.
This year’s collection also includes iconic figures, like Marilyn Monroe and a three-dimensional version of the “American Gothic” painting by Grant Wood.
Local businesses sponsor the sculptures. Last year, a Northwest Indiana newspaper, The Times, quoted the Hot Dog Guy, Mike Adams, in an article. Adams sets up his hot dog cart outside the courthouse. He said that although the sponsorship fee wasn’t in his budget for last year, he wanted to do it this year, especially if there was a sculpture of someone eating a hot dog on a bench. The sculpture on the courthouse lawn this year near the corner where the Hot Dog Guy sets up reflects Adams’ business perfectly.
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One sculpture stands out from all the rest. Although most of Johnson’s sculptures are life size, “Return Visit” is from his Monumental Scale collection. The 30-foot tall President Abraham Lincoln is on display at the Crown Point Sportsplex, several blocks from the courthouse. The sculpture represents “the common man” with Lincoln.
Seward Johnson Sculpture Exhibit Contests
Crown Point has added a couple of fun contests to the Seward Johnson Sculpture Exhibit.
- In the Scavenger Hunt Contest you write the title of the sculpture on the form next to the given hint. Hints include things like “Tell it to the judge” and “Give the doggie a ride.”
- Take a photo with one of the sculptures and submit to in the Photo Contest.
Details on both contests are on the exhibit brochure, which also includes a map on where to find the sculptures.
If you visit…
The Old Lake County Courthouse is located at 1 Courthouse Square in Crown Point, Indiana. While you’re there, be sure to visit the shops in the courthouse and the John Dillinger Museum.
Accommodations near Crown Point: Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor
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7 thoughts on “Seward Johnson Sculptures in Crown Point Portray Real Life”
I love these real life statues! I’ve seen something similar in a small town in Romania and fell in love with the idea. I’ve never been in Crown Point, but if I were to go this would be the reason.
My dad lives in Crown Point, so we’re there often. Whenever we’re around the square I find myself looking for the statues, even though I’ve seen them already. They’re such a fun addition to the area.
Omigosh, those are fabulous sculptures! It’s unbelievable how lifelike they look, and remarkable how well he has portrayed the celebrities. If I had to choose it would be hard to say which would be my favorite, though. Do you think this exhibit will become an annual event?
Really glad you shared this on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
I’m hoping it’s an annual event. They had a two-year contract with the company, and this is year two. I suppose it depends on their budget.
The statues look very life like indeed. The ‘Return Visit’ seems to be much larger than the others towering over the garden benches. Do they all differ in size?
Return Visit is from Johnson’s Monumental Scale collection and is 30 feet tall. All of the others are life size.
Never heard of these sculptures, but they sure are cool! Thanks for sharing them with us!