Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bronze People

Art in Public Places

These wonderful life size bronzes are found in downtown Santa Barbara.  I've always loved these sculptures because they are so playful.  I've witnessed many a tourist sitting on Benjamin's lap so I couldn't resist doing the same this morning.  My travel buddy and I had brunch nearby and I wore one of the outfits I purchased in Tokyo last month.

  I can't help but grin whenever I think about my shopping adventure over there.  An older woman who could not speak English helped me pick this particular top out.  She saw immediately that I was drawn to the more abstract pieces and as soon as I was in the dressing room, she knocked on the door and handed me several more--this lovely black and cream pleated tunic among them.  I felt such gratitude.  When I fumbled with getting the exact amount of yen out of my wallet, she was very patient and awarded me with a big smile after I successfully retrieved the correct amount.  She smiled even more when I bowed upon leaving.


J. Seward Johnson, Jr. is the American artist who sculpted these bronze people.  He is known for this trompe l'oeil painted technique and uses real people for his castings.  (Except Good Old Benjamin, of course!)  Besides Santa Barbara, his statues can be found in Sydney, Australia and Portland, Oregon.

As soon as we were about to leave, three tourists walked by and immediately whipped out their cell phones to take pictures.  I don't know where they were from, but Japan was a very strong guess.  I found myself nodding to them and they nodded back.  For one brief moment, our worlds crossed.  We were acknowledging a mutual love for travel, for art and for the pleasure both bring into our lives.

Linking up with Patti and friends at Visible Monday.  It's good to be back!


  1. Great to see you! And I love these pics, esp of you and Ben getting to be friends. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xo.

  2. I love this top!! And your post was so much fun!

  3. Looks like fun and a little creepy too. I sat on a bench once next to what I thought was a bronze sculpture in Scottsdale. He eventually got up and walked away after I had been pretending to snuggle up to him for a photo. ha!

  4. I like to highlight public art on my blog too. I'll have to get my camera going and get out and about.

  5. The tunic is fun, as are the sculptures. And are those Jessica Kagan Cushman bangles you're wearing? I have one, too, with the text 'really fabulous people never get dressed before lunchtime'...

  6. The tunic is both a great style and a great print and suits you so very well, a great reminder of Japan every time you wear it. I love your tale about the lady in the shop, travel is always so much more than the scenery.
    These bronzes are great, much check his work in Sydney sometime.
    Forget to say, I really like that hat.

  7. It looks like Mr. Franklin is trying to peek down your top, but from what I understand, this would have been an accurate representation of the man. heh. I loved your story about the shop woman in Japan and your encounter with Japanese tourists in the US.

  8. How fun are these pics! It's been many years since I've been to Santa Barbara and will need to pay closer attention to all these statues around.


    Hope to see you for TBT Fashion link up.