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Society of The Four Arts: Palm Beach, Florida

This is such a great place to walk around and enjoy the gardens and the arts. They have different exhibitions which change often. The day I went, I saw The Four Seasons by Phillip Haas. In a spectacular transformation that is typical of his work, American artist and filmmaker Philip Haas created a group of large-scale fiberglass sculptures inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Italian Renaissance paintings of the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. The colossal size of Haas’s sculptures accentuates the visual puzzle of plants, fruits, and vegetables as they form four human portraits, each representing an individual season. The result is at once earthy, fanciful, and exuberant— a commentary on Arcimboldo’s style and a work of art in its own right.

The Society of the Four Arts is a non-profit charity organization that was founded in 1936. Its campus on the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach is home to the Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery Building, which includes the Esther B. O’Keeffe Art Gallery, a concert hall auditorium, two libraries, an administration building, and gardens. The Plaza's original building by Maurice Fatio now houses the town's library. The O'Keefe Gallery building was designed by architect Addison Mizner.

The Four Arts Botanical Gardens are demonstration gardens maintained by the Palm Beach Garden Club, in partnership with property owners, The Society of the Four Arts. Seven society ladies and one gentleman planned the original gardens in the 1930s, to incorporate a series of garden rooms with different themes. Its original purpose was to display the diversity of tropical plants suitable for landscaping in the South Florida climate. Seven demonstration gardens illustrate different styles of landscaping and information on drought and heat tolerant plants.

Adjacent to the botanical gardens is the Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden, which serves as an outdoor museum, urban park, and botanical garden for the town of Palm Beach. Sculptures are curated by The Society of the Four Arts, advised by its Art Acquisition Committee.


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