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Classic car event honors Gold Star Families at Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens


Photo by Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
Featured 1933 Rolls-Royce Woody at the “Sculpture in Motion” event.

The reopening of the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach after the four-month closure for COVID-19 was highlighted by the fifth annual “Sculpture in Motion” vintage car event, which brought the community together to honor Palm Beach County Gold Star families and veterans while showcasing dramatic and enchanting art.


The exhibition took place Saturday, Nov. 13, and ended with a Grand Tour Parade of Cars, featuring 40 classic automobiles driving along Flagler Drive on the Intracoastal.

Frances Fisher, co-chair of the exhibit and board chairwoman for the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, expressed her excitement for the event to occur for the fifth year in a row.


Fisher said the event was a great success in bringing the community together.

Vintage artwork formed the backdrop for the exhibit of classic pre- and post-war automobiles parked on the main lawn of the Sculpture Gardens. “Sculpture in Motion” included luxury midcentury cars such as a Maserati, a Rolls-Royce Henley Roadster and an Auburn Boattail Speedster. John Barnes, the honorary chairman of the event, said World War II designers made cars as beautiful as they were functional.


The event included a talk by Donald Osborne, an automotive historian and the host of the CNBC show “Jay Leno’s Garage.” Osborne focused on how the development of the automobile influenced society, fashion and the role of women.


“Sculpture in Motion” coincided with the indoor exhibit of Eric Zetterquist’s art, which celebrates brilliant automotive design. His technique involves photographing cars and turning the lines of the automobile design into large abstractions that recall Asian calligraphy. His exhibition, aptly named “Salient Lines,” along with his “Supercar Portraits,” runs through December.


The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Gardens Conservancy is dedicated to preserving the beauty of the site, a 2-acre tropical garden sanctuary designed by world-renowned botanist Sir Peter Smithers and featuring monolithic sculptures amid a collection of over 250 rare palm trees and cycads. More than 100 works of art are displayed throughout the gardens and in the historic home. Visitors can explore Ann Norton’s larger-than-life models and studies that evolved into her monumental works in the artist studio.


The works of art are nestled among dense, junglelike vegetation. The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are a testament to Ann Norton’s commitment to conservation and her desire to preserve a quiet retreat amid increasing development.


The Norton house and gallery are in the historic El Cid neighborhood of West Palm Beach and present impressive views of the scenic Intracoastal Waterway. The home, designed in 1925 by architect Maurice Fatio, was purchased in 1935 by Ralph and Elizabeth Norton, founders of the Norton Museum of Art. Widowed Ralph Norton married Ann Weaver, a sculptor instructor at the Norton Museum, in 1948.


The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are located at 253 Barcelona Road in West Palm Beach and are open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through June. Admission is free for members, $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for children and students. Active-duty, Reserve, National Guard and former members of the military receive a 20% discount off admission with a valid ID.


For further information about the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, call 561-832-5328, or email info@ansg.org.

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