Out and About in Southern Maryland: Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on September 1, 2016

"The Gateway." Image via Annmarie Garden website.

“The Gateway.” Image via Annmarie Garden website.

Walk the quarter-mile wooded path at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, and you’ll find surprises at every turn.

A towering sculpture of a cardinal. A little birdhouse decorated by keys. Small snippets of famous paintings on stumps and trees. A playground for fairies and their friends.

Peek through the trees, and you’ll get a glimpse of St. John Creek. Nature mixes with art here, and there’s no place like it in Southern Maryland.

The 30-acre garden is the result of the generosity of Francis and Ann Marie Koenig, who moved to Calvert County in 1955 seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC. The couple fell in love with the county and the water. They built a beach house in Long Beach, and sailed their boat, called Annmarie. They bought the property on which the garden sits in 1960 as an investment opportunity.

The Koenigs turned down many offers from developers before donating the land to Calvert County in 1991. They wanted to give something back to the area they loved, and they wanted the land developed into a sculpture garden.

"Hand." Image via Annmarie Garden website.

“Hand.” Image via Annmarie Garden website.

“Everything I have built in my life will someday be taken down.  Annmarie Garden will always remain.” – Francis Koenig

Over the next 10 years, the Koenigs’ dream became a reality as six sculptures were installed on the property. Today, the wooded path is dotted with sculptures. Some are permanently owned by Annmarie Garden; others are on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art.

The Koenigs died in the 1990s, but the garden continues to grow. In 2003, Annmarie Garden became a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Affiliations Program. The Arts Building, which features rotating exhibits, a gift shop, and event space opened in 2008. The same year, the Studio School opened. The school hosts classes and workshops for all ages and abilities. The garden also hosts several festivals, family events, and public programs throughout the year.

Learn more about Annmarie Garden and its upcoming events at its website: http://www.annmariegarden.org/.

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