Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

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Patrick Dougherty

New Stickwork Sculpture by Patrick Dougherty
A Waltz in the Woods

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Installation: March 9-27, 2015
Exhibit Duration: Patrick Dougherty’s original sculptures are temporary. They last one to two years depending on the severity of the weather.

Located in the sculpture garden. Click here for a Visitor Map.

About the Materials: Willows

A Waltz in the Woods was created from willow saplings. Below are the specific types.

For the Main Towers:
Salix purpurea ‘Fish Creek’ – Fish creekpurple willow, used for the vast majority of the piece.
Zelkova serrata – Japanese zelkova, used as structural pieces.

For Dome Embellishments:
Salix alba 'Britzensis' – Britz white willow
Salix chaenomeloides - willow
Salix gracilistylavar. melanostachys – black bigcatkin willow


About the Artist and Installation

See Patrick Dougherty on WHYY Friday Arts »

See Patrick Dougherty featured in Garden Design Magazine »

See Patrick Dougherty on CBS Sunday Morning »

This spring the Morris Arboretum welcomed back stickwork artist, Patrick Dougherty to create a new sculpture, A Waltz in the Woods.

In the last thirty years, Dougherty has created some 260 sculptures in more than 15 countries. A Waltz in the Woods includes seven “towers”, each roughly 30 feet high, through which visitors may roam. Open windows create an airy feel, and opposing doors allow for travel between the towers. The variations in shape and size create a unique sense of flow and a maze-like feel. The negative space within the circle of the towers pays homage to the Arboretum’s Summer Palace which Dougherty created in 2009.

A Waltz in the Woods was created from willow saplings, which were brought in from Fredonia, New York, from a willow nursery. Dougherty likes that his work is relevant to just about anyone. He recognizes that each structure creates different associations for different people, and that it evokes something unique for each individual. In the end, for him, it is all about connections. “Sometimes we all just need to be reminded of our place in nature.”

Learn more about the work of Patrick Dougherty at

This exhibit is supported in part by the Madeline K. Butcher Fine Arts Endowment.

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Alerts & Updates

Please be advised that the Rose Garden is closed on Thursday mornings for maintenance.

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.