Legacy Art and Sculpture
Discover some of the lesser-known art pieces that have found their home at the Gardens throughout its rich history.
RBG’s Sculpture collections can be found throughout Hendrie Park / RBG Centre (680 Plains Road W. Burlington) and Rock Garden (1185 York Boulevard, Hamilton).
Click the link to download a map outlining sculpture placement within the garden (pdf).
Artist: Reinhard Reitzenstein
2019; lower bowl at Rock Garden
Donor Rita Plansky commissioned this naturalistic sculpture from Ontario-based artist Reinhard Reitzenstein in 2001. The piece was cast from grape vines to encompass the energy of the environment around it and it likewise captures the natural beauty of its surroundings in the Rock Garden. Whirlwind inspires us to explore energy and connection to nature and the universe.
Artist: Brandon Vickerd
2018; Dalglish Family Courtyard at Rock Garden
Flora Hominis was created as a memorial to Thomas Baker McQuesten, RBG’s founder. It is not a portrait but rather a large bronze representation of the figure of a man in a three piece suit who’s features are composed of plant material. The piece is intended to spark conversations about the relationships between people, plants, and place, which are central to RBG’s mission. Flora Hominis was donated to RBG by the Dalglish family.
For the Spring of 1883
Artist: Lisa Pijuan-Nomura and Dave Kuruc
2018; Tunnel at Hendrie Park
These beautiful images are from an archive of 30,000 nursery and seed catalogues at Royal Botanical Gardens, a unique window into Canadian gardens of the past. Spanning 1837 to the present, it is Canada’s largest nursery catalogue collection. Horticultural researchers and landscape designers use it to find when and where new flowers and food plants were introduced into Canada’s gardens and landscapes. Artists use it as a source of stunning illustrations like these. These catalogues were never meant to last. Now carefully preserved, they tell unique and rich stories of the growth of horticulture in Canada.
Glass and Steel Donor Feature
Artist: Alex Anagnostou
2010; Aldershot Escarpment Garden at RBG Centre
Toronto-based glass artist Alex Anagnostou created two works for the Aldershot Escarpment Garden, installed in 2010. These include a large glass and steel donor wall in the shape of a map of the Niagara Escarpment, and a glass monolith dedicating the garden to the Deluca family and recognizing their leadership in supporting the garden.
Artist: Almuth Lütkenhaus
1997; Spicer Court at RBG Centre
Lütkenhaus (also known as Almuth Lütkenhaus-Lackey) was a German sculptor who moved to Hamilton in 1966. Her sculpture The Rider was donated to RBG in 1997 by Cambridge Shopping Centres. Her most famous piece in Canada is Crucified Woman, a representation of Christ as a woman, which stands on the grounds of Emmanuel College in Toronto.
Artist: Marijan Kocković
1979; Parking Lot at Rock Garden
Popularly known as The Donkey, Work Ethic 1979 is on loan from AGH. It is considered an important work by Croatian artist Marijan Kocković, who served as a ship’s captain during World War II with both American and British forces and had a 45 year career as an artist. As a sculptor he was referred to as “Marijan of Dubrovnik” and created important portraits of many leading individuals including John F. Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor.
Girl with Dove
Artist: Elizabeth Bradford
1920’s; Water features at Rock Garden
The R. Owen Merriman Memorial; Owen Merriman was one of the founders of the Hamilton Bird Protection Society, which lobbied for the protection of Cootes Paradise Marsh and the creation of Royal Botanical Gardens in the 1920s. Merriman died in 1936 and his family commissioned Holbrook to create a memorial. The Hamilton Bird Protection Society evolved into the Hamilton Naturalists Club, which will be celebrating its centenary in 2019.
More Art in the Gardens
Art brings beauty into our gardens, adds a human element, tells a story, and creates dialogue. Discover the abundance of art installations that grace our garden setting.
Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection
In 2013 Dan Lawrie, Hamilton businessman and Burlington resident, made a 10-year commitment to donating sculpture to Royal Botanical Gardens, creating The International Sculpture Collection.
Earth Art installations can be found throughout RBG’s landscape. Also known as ephemeral art, this exciting genre of art has emerged from the contemporary world’s growing environmental consciousness.