Sunday, September 27, 2009
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
Today my friend and I went to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park (www.pyramidhill.org ) near Hamilton, Ohio. They were having a Art Fair among the sculptures. The park started on private property of Harry Wilks. He built his residence on 40 rolling acres. The house is underground with a glass pyramid over his living area. The house is not open to the public. He then expanded to 265 acres when he and his board decided that they wanted to preserve a nature area. Most of the sculptures are among the hills and trees by donation. Some are permanent installations or on show for short term. You can walk on the paved roads to get around the park. Other options were to rent a golf cart or drive through in your car. There were places to pull off and park so you can get out and get a closer look. We did a little walking and some driving. The hills are killers to walk if you are not a hiker. If you are a hiker they also have trails for you to walk. The first sculpture on the left is called The Birth of Adam. It is surrounded by a rose garden. I really liked how it appeared to be coming out of the earth. It was a pretty garden even though the roses were at the end of their blooming season. There were many garden areas throughout the park.
The building that my friend and I enjoyed the most was the Ancient Sculpture Museum. The building is modeled after a Roman house, complete with a garden open to the sky, in the center. A wide, covered cloistered styled walkway encircles the garden, with sixteen custom carved, stone columns supporting the red tile roof. The unique design of the building was inspired by several trips that Harry Wilks, the founder of the park, made to Italy and other spots in the old Roman Empire.The exhibits in this building are various pieces of ancient sculpture dating from the Roman Empire, the Egyptian Dynasties, the ancient Greek civilization and the Etruscan culture. The collection is one of the largest collections in the Midwest and features many rare items not exhibited in other museums. The collection was assembled only from purchases made from the international auction houses of Sotheby’s and Christie’s over the last 29 years by Mr. Wilks. So the sculpture, above on the right, is a bust of a Roman Muse, circa 1st century A.D. I liked the this marble face because it was mostly in tact. Only the tip of the nose was missing. Making it to the present in such great shape is amazing. The next marble piece, on the left, is a torso of a woman. They called it a statue of the Goddess Diana, circa 2nd/3rd century A.D. I really was impressed with the folds and bunching of the fabric chiseled into the marble. The only piece that was fragile, on the right, was Figure of a Woman with a Mirror, made of Greek Terracotta from the late 4th/early 3rd century B.C. I have only showed her side view because my front had too many shadows. However, you could see the folds of her gown, the waves of her hair and every finger is still in tact. It was beautiful. I enjoyed the very overcast day discovering this gem on the outskirts of Cincinnati with my friend. Oh, and the art fair was a small bonus for the day. I recommend, to those in my area, to pack a picnic and take a drive to Pyramid Hill Sculpture park. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Gaylynn