©Fundacion Pedro y Elena Hernandez AC
The Sculpture Garden of Edward James.
The Sculpture Garden of Edward James, “Las Pozas” was created by Edward James, poet and artist, also known as the great patron of the surrealist movement. By surrealism we understand the literary and artistic movement, which arose in Europe in 1918, and which, affirms that the world of dreams and unconsciousness are fountains of inspiration and creation. André Breton defines the first surrealistic manifest as, “dictates of thought, without regulatory reason and devoid of worry concerning style and moral.” Nestled in the Huasteca Potosina in Mexico, Edward James found the perfect setting to create his masterpiece. Among natural and artificial pools and waterfalls the visitor is amazed to enter into a dream world next to the surrealistic labyrinth it unfolds. Buildings that evoke fantasy, doors that open up to nothing, stairs that lead to the sky, and concrete flowers that grow along with natural ones inhabit this garden located in Xilitla. The architecture of the Sculpture Garden represents an architectonical surrealistic group of buildings inspired in both orchids and local flowers found in the vegetation of the Huasteca Potosina turning into a fusion of organic and artificial forms, a mixture between jungle and concrete, thus achieving a two marvellous worlds in one. The origin of the Sculpture Garden goes back to 1947 when Edward James (who lived in a form of exile in the United States) purchased a coffee plantation near Xilitla, San Luis Potosi, and registered it under the name of Plutarco Gastelum, his close friend. Together, they created the Sculpture Garden in Las Pozas. During the first years, James kept Las Pozas as a plantation for his fabulous orchid collection and as a home for his different animal species (deer, ocelots, snakes, flamingos and other birds). In 1962, after an unprecedent frost which destroyed a large portion of his plantation, he began the construction of the concrete garden we know today. More than 150 local people worked on the project including, carpenters, bricklayers and gardeners. The construction was halted in 1984, year in which James passed away. It was not until 1991 that the doors of the garden were opened to the public.
The Sculpture Garden of Edward James, is located on a piece of land situated in Xilitla near La Conchita. Its surface covers almost nine hectare of land, where we can find 40 buildings, structures and sculptures together with 37 hectares of natural landscape. Some of the most representative buildings and sculptures are:
The movie theater, where movies were to be projected for the Xilitla inhabitants. Edward James said that to look through the arch was like having a permanent screen for the garden.
Don Eduardo´s Square: James named this square San Isidro to honor the huge tree, which grew there. Later the workers renamed it as Don Eduardo´s square because it was here that they received their pay.
The Bamboo Palace: James called it “the tower of hope” and said that one day it would be his home.
In 2007 the Pedro y Elena Hernandéz Foundation, A.C. acquired the garden with the intention of preserving the sculptures and protecting the ecosystem. In 2012 the National Institute of Fine Arts declared the garden an artistic monument for investing it with relevant aesthetic values. The affairs of the sculpture garden are guided by the regulations of the Mexican Federal Law for Monuments, and Archeological, Artistic and Historical zones. This regulations support efforts for international recognition and for acceding to global programs for the protection of relevant monuments and the preservation of the nation’s artistic heritage.
The Sculpture Garden of Edward James
Camino Paseo Las Pozas s/n, Barrio La Conchita, 79902 Xilitla, S.L.P.