Public Art in Downtown Lodi

Marilyn Monroe welcomes movie-goers to the theater. A mariachi band entertains guests dining downtown. An army man embraces his daughter by the post office.   If you’ve taken a walk in Downtown Lodi lately, you’ve noticed some very colorful – very still – people. Take a closer look! They are the work of Seward Johnson (or John Seward Johnson II), American artist famous for creating than 450 life-size cast bronze figures.   Paid for by Lodi’s Art in Public Places Fund, a total of 10 Seward Johnson statues decorate School Street in Downtown Lodi. Most of Johnson’s statues depict regular people doing every day activities, while others depict cultural icons. This is not the first time Lodi has seen these iconic statues; they made an appearance in 2011, but did not include three of the statues from the “Icons Series” (Marilyn, the Kiss, American Gothic).   Seward Johnson’s statues have appeared in private collections and museums throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, not to mention prominent public places including the Rockefeller Center, Pacific Place, Hong Kong, Les Halles (Paris), and Via Condotti (Rome).   The statues will continue to delight Lodi visitors and locals alike for the next two months. Until they move on to their next destination, the Visit Lodi! team will enjoy the company of a very focused bookworm seated on a bench outside of our Downtown Visitor Center.  

Fun Facts

  1. Seward Johnson was born in New Jersey
  2. He is a grandson of Robert Wood Johnson I, co-founder of Johnson & Johnson
  3. His mother was Ruth Dill, sister of actress Diana Dill, making him a first cousin of actor Michael Douglas
  4. Before he became a sculptor, he was a painter. His largest, most dramatic work is a 70-foot, five-part statue that depicts a giant trying to free himself from the underground (“The Awakening,” 1980).
  5. He is considered one of the most widely recognized sculptors of our time. At 83 years old, he continues to create compelling, memorable works in bronze.

Grab a Map!

Download our exhibition map and head to Downtown Lodi to see all 10 statues for yourself!   [gview file=””]   Published: May 2015

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