J. Seward Johnson, Jr.

Seward Johnson in Times Square New York

About Seward Johnson

Seward Johnson was a visionary, artist and philanthropist that established an international community of artists with the Johnson Atelier in Hamilton, NJ, later going on to create Grounds For Sculpture, a 42-acre nonprofit sculpture park, museum, and arboretum on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds. A wondrous place for interdisciplinary engagement with art, nature, music and dance. A recipient of the International Sculpture Center’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, Seward passed away at the age of 89 in March of 2020, but the Atelier continues his legacy.
Johnson founded the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in 1974 to help sculptors overcome two problems. The first was to help sculptors retain control over their artwork. The second was to open access to previously guarded information on production techniques. The Johnson Atelier rapidly became an incubator for the advancement of art technique and technology. From all over the world, artists gathered at the Johnson Atelier to collectively advance all phases of production. This gathering of artists provided a stimulating and sometimes unorthodox environment in which everyone’s artistic practice could bloom through collaboration, dialogue and discovery.

A spirit of exploration stems directly from Seward’s passion to discover innovative methods or materials in the pursuit of making art. Today, the Johnson Atelier works to expand the capacity of artists through immersive making and creative collaboration – producing and preserving works of art and design, as well as offering ever-evolving opportunities for onsite workshops and creating cultural experiences to enrich communities and inspire engagement.