Bonsai Exhibit at Lynden

Chinese Elm
Chinese elm

The exhibit is open to the public Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 am-4 pm, and by appointment, from May to October. When planning your visit, please visit our web calendar to check for special openings/closings.

There are no borders in bonsai.
The dove of peace flies to palace
as to humble house,
to young as to old,
to rich and poor.
So does the spirit of bonsai.

--John Yoshio Naka

We are delighted to announce the opening of the Bonsai Exhibit at Lynden, a collaboration with the Milwaukee Bonsai Society and the Milwaukee Bonsai Foundation. There is a deep affinity between sculpture and bonsai: shared aesthetic concerns; attention to scale, form, and proportion. And just as we marvel at the way the sculptures in the collection appear to alter as the landscape changes with the seasons, the living matter of bonsai allows us to consider temporality in a different way. Large sculptures, small trees: complementary sides of the same coin.

Bonsai is the art of living sculpture. Using all the design elements of traditional sculpture with a non-traditional material–a live tree–bonsai combines the beauty of man-made sculpture with the harmony of nature. Like traditional sculpture, each bonsai tells a story. Unlike traditional sculpture, a bonsai is never “completed.” It continues to grow and change year after year.

Bonsai display the seasons just like their full-sized cousins living in the landscape. A flush of new buds appear in the spring. In the summer the buds turn to lush green foliage which then changes to brilliant color in the fall. Winter brings bare branches to the deciduous trees. This expression of time is a part of their beauty.

Located beside Big Lake, the Bonsai Exhibit includes a display area for bonsai, waterside teaching patio, and pollinator garden. The area will be a place to admire bonsai in season, to participate in workshops, or to enjoy the peaceful setting. Experience the beauty of bonsai and make a new connection between art and nature.

Workshops and Events

World Bonsai Day 2024, Saturday, May 11, 2024, 10 am-4 pm

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