Cosmic Nature Red wrapped trees
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Day-Trip: Cosmic Nature New York Botanical Gardens

Experience the beauty of art in nature at the New York Botanical Garden.


A week ago I had a lovely day exploring the beauty of modern art in nature with colleagues from work. I went to the New York Botanical Garden and viewed the outdoor exhibit Cosmic Nature by Yayoi Kusama. It was beautiful weather. I was also an amazing opportunity to see close friends with whom I have not spent a lot of time with in over a year.

New York Botanical Gardens

If you have not already visited the New York Botanical Garden you are missing out. Growing up my mother worked there and we would go somewhat often. Year-round it’s a great day trip destination. They have seasonal exhibits like the spring orchid show and holiday train show but also beautiful glass installations by Dale Chihuly. It’s the perfect place to visit. You can take a walk in the beautiful fields of nature, tour formal gardens see specimen plants in the conservatory. I love seeing the beautiful floral color combinations. You can get ideas for a future garden and I get ideas for my patio pots). NYBG, as it’s lovingly referred to, is also a wonderful place to have a picnic or lunch. Not up for making your own snacks? There are some actual restaurants that are open when you can sit and have something to eat. There is also a lovely gift shop filled with beautiful garden books as well as gifts for your favorite gardener.

About the Cosmic Nature exhibit

Contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular artists in the world. She draws thousand to her immersive installations. If you are familiar with the artist Christo you will have an idea of the type of work and installation this exhibit is. The exhibit overview states Kusama reveals her lifelong fascination with the natural world, beginning with her childhood spent in the greenhouses and fields of her family’s seed nursery. Her sculptures are supposed to speak of obliteration, infinity, and eternity and are inspired by her intimate engagement with the colors, patterns, and life cycles of plants and flowers. I loved it and felt her her sculptures are beautiful by themselves but compliment the organic earthy surrounding in which they are placed. The highlight for me was walking through and being part of the user generated zinnia greenhouse.

The exhibit at NYBG takes you through several spots in the garden; the fountain, the conservatory, the exhibit hall, a colonnade of trees, even a special room with user placed stickers of zinnias.

Getting there

You can take the NYC subway, Metro North or drive. It’s about an hour train ride or 30 min drive from NYC. Tickets are required for the exhibits. The exhibit is open through October 31, 2021. The garden hours are mostly 10-6pm and Thursdays 10-9pm. For more information, pricing and details visit nybg.org.

If you are looking for more outdoor art and sculpture gardens check out our other post on Storm King Art Center.

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