The Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden

The Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden

The Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden, on the corner of Royal Palm Way and Cocoanut Row, is an elegant park which was recently remodeled by The Society to be a showpiece for Palm Beach. Visitors are invited to stroll through the grounds, enjoying the natural beauty of the landscaping and the carefully selected sculptures. Two beautiful fountains accent the north and south ends of the garden. Benches and chairs provide the ideal spot for enjoying conversation or a good book.

The Four Arts offers guided group tours of the gardens. Visit our About Us page to request a group tour.

Hours of Operation

  • Seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed on major holiday. View our calendar of events, including any special operating hours.

Call (561) 659-8503 or email for group tour information.

The enhanced sculpture garden of the Society of the Four Arts honors the memory of a creative and public-spirited leader. Philip Hulitar was a prominent American couturier and Palm Beach resident who restored several historic houses here. The garden’s evolution, from a trio of vacant lots with tangled vines and scrub palms to its magnificence today, is a continuing tribute to his vision.

In March 1965, Four Arts members learned that the property at the corner of Royal Palm Way and Cocoanut Row was about to be sold to a Jacksonville grocery-store chain. Eager to acquire the land, Four Arts members swung into action. Just two days before the sale was to proceed, Walter Gubelmann, then president of The Four Arts, made an offer to the owners of the property, the Walton family: to match the price offered by the Davis Brothers grocery store chain. In just one weekend, pledges for the required amount were raised by telephone. The lot was acquired the following Monday morning, according to legend – just before the Davis Brothers’ lawyers arrived for the closing. Subsequently, in1967 and 1968, the Society bought the two adjoining lots.

Sketching a Plan

By Spring 1979 the combined lots, although saved by The Four Arts, were still unimproved. Mrs. John Clifford Folger, then chairman of The Four Arts Landscape Committee, discussed with Philip Hulitar the need for beautification, and a plan emerged to establish a sculpture garden. Mr. Hulitar sketched a design for a garden wall, and when the town accepted his plan, Mrs. Folger presented a gift to the Society to cover the cost of the wall and a sprinkler system to sustain plantings along its length.

Work on the wall was completed in November 1980. Gifts from Mrs. Folger, Mr. and Mrs. F. Warrington Gillet, Jr., Marjorie Whittemore and others fueled the growth of the sculpture garden; Philip Hulitar eagerly solicited donations of sculpture from friends and Four Arts members. In 1988, he and his wife, Mary, presented a generous gift to The Society of the Four Arts for the garden’s continued maintenance.

In 1988, in recognition of his years as chairman of the sculpture garden and as a Trustee of The Four Arts, its Board voted to honor Mr. Hulitar by naming the sculpture garden for him. He spoke briefly at the dedication ceremony held on the Library patio that spring.

Protecting His Legacy

Philip Hulitar, whose artistic creativity, vision and commitment were responsible for turning three vacant lots into a handsome sculpture garden, died in 1992.

His wife, Mary, remained active in supporting and maintaining the garden until her death in 2017. She endowed the Welcome Garden, the oval planting area which greets visitors within the main gate at Cocoanut Row.

In February 2002, The Four Arts announced plans to enhance the Hulitar Sculpture garden by adding park-like elements: new walkways and plantings, fountains and seating, security and event lighting, an elegant plaza and fountain, and a handsome garden pavilion. The landscape architecture firm Morgan Wheelock, Inc. was chosen for the job in April 2003 and ground broken in early 2004. Now, as construction draws to a close, another chapter opens in the history of the Hulitar Sculpture Garden. Philip Hulitar’s planning, imagination and hard work continue to be reflected in its progress, however. We believe, as former Mayor Lesly Smith observed to Four Arts Trustees in late 2004, that Mr. Hulitar “would be proud to see his vision continued in this new and beautiful way.”

The enhanced Hulitar Sculpture Garden has been carefully designed to serve The Four Arts and the Palm Beach community as an outdoor museum, as a handsome urban park, as a botanical garden and as a gathering space for concerts, social occasions and other events. Starting with relatively few works on display, the Society’s curator, advised by its Art Acquisition Committee, will populate the garden carefully, adding only works judged to be of high artistic quality.

Lawrence Holofcener (1926 – )
Allies (Winston Churchill & Franklin Roosevelt)
Bronze, 1992
Loaned by the artist

Felipe Castaneda (1933 – )
Maternidad La Cuava,
Homage to Zúñiga, 1976
81.13 Gift of Mrs. Richard Harrison Hill, Philip Hulitar, Mrs. Bradford A. Whitimore

Diana Guest ( d. 1994)
Naja, 1979
80.2 Gift of the Artist, Diana Guest Manning

Edward Fenno Hoffman III (1916 – 1991)
Reaching, 1963
90.1 In Memory of Margaret Richardson Trout
Given by Her Family, November 21, 1990

Philip Jackson (1944 – )
Sior Maschera
05.4 Gift of Reginald B. Collier

Henry Mitchell (1915 – 1980)
Giraffes, 1959
81.15 Gift of Mrs. Eileen Zantzinger Holberg
In Memory of Her Husband Alfred Zantzinger

Luis Montoya, Spanish, (1950 – ) and Leslie Ortiz, American, (1957 – )
Monumental Apple Basket, 1998
98.1 Gift of Mary Hulitar

Luis Montoya, Spanish, (1950 – ) and Leslie Ortiz, American, (1957 – )
Pear Harvest
08.1 Gift of Jeannie and Richard Pearman
In memory of their parents

Dan Ostermiller (1956 – )
Peacock Monument, 2004
06.2.1, 06.2.2 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr.

Ira Bruce Reines (1957 – )
Neptune, 1981
81.3 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jack C. Massey

Jose Antonio Villalobos (1935 – )
Youth, 1970
80.3 Gift of Mary and Philip Hulitar

Jose Antonio Villalobos (1935 – )
Innocence, 1971
80.4 Gift of A. Atwater Kent Foundation

John Raimondi (1948 – )
Dance of the Cranes
09.1 Gift of J. David Veselsky
In Memory of Ferris P. Ellis and Leslie C. White

Click here to watch a short video about the inspiration behind the Dance of the Cranes sculpture.

Augusts Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907)
cast 1979, edition 4 of 6
Gilded bronze
2015.1 Gift of Miranda and Robert Donnelley in honor of Nancy Mato longtime Vice President and Curator of the Society of the Four Arts.

Norman Sunshine (1935 – )

Forgotten Word III, 2006

Grainger McKoy (1947 – )
Recovery, 2010
Stainless Steel, edition no. 2
2013.1 Gift of Edith Robb Dixon

Click here to watch a documentary of how the Recovery sculpture was made.

David H. Turner (1961 – )
The Bond, 2010
2010.1 Gift of Zita Hawley Wright

Jim Dine (1935 –  )
King Parrot, 1995
Painted cast bronze 5/6
2014.1 In memory of K. Bryant Wick, Jr. (11/22/61-6/25/2009)
Donated by his mother Dorothy Tremaine Hildt (9/17/27 – 1/3/2014)

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