Guidelines for Tour Operators
Please be sure to read Planning Your Visit for general information about visiting the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park.
The Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State University exhibits 28 major artworks, many by masters of 20th Century contemporary sculpture, sited dramatically across a wild prairie landscape. The park is within a one-hour bus ride from most of the Chicagoland area. There is plenty of free parking and a cafeteria, which is open Monday through Friday (Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.). There is a $5 per person fee for guided tours.
By contacting the park at least a month in advance of your visit, park staff will be able to arrange coverage and determine the itinerary for your tour. Presented either by park staff or trained docent volunteers, tour experiences are interactive and designed so that the visitor comes away with an appreciation of the unique vision each artist has developed.
Because of its size and the outdoor nature of the park, you should allow at least one-hour from arrival to departure time for your stop. We recommend budgeting 2 - 2½ hours for your visit - this will allow bathroom breaks at the beginning and end and a full experience of our unique presentation. Tours can be customized to a variety of timeframes - please contact park staff to discuss your particular needs.
All of our artworks are connected by grassy paths which are maintained year ‘round. Your group is advised to wear comfortable, sturdy, walking shoes as extensive walking on sometimes uneven ground is required. Please remind your guests to dress appropriately for the season. If you will be visiting during late spring or during summer months, we recommend bottled water for each person as they will be walking over a mile if you choose one of the itineraries below.
We have two basic routes from which to choose. Please feel free to discuss your particular interests with park staff when you make your tour arrangements.
The north tour visits 14 works:
- Yes! For Lady Day - Mark diSuvero
- Oscar's Inclination - Michael Dunbar
- Illinois Landscape No. 5 - John Henry
- Flying Saucer - Jene Highstein
- House Divided - Bruce Nauman
- Falling Meteor - Jerry Peart
- Frame - Richard Rezac
- Untitled - Joel Shapiro
- Phoenix - Edvins Strautmanis
- Paul - Tony Tasset
- Sisyphus' Aviary - Dan Yarbrough
- The Granary Project - Dan Peterman
- Icarus - Charles Ginnever
- Spiral - Clement Meadmore
The south tour visits 11 works:
- Arc 3 - Mike Baur
- Sextant Yoke - Mike Baur
- Passage - James Brenner
- Throne (for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) - Ted Sitting Crow Garner
- Large Planar Hybrid - Richard Hunt
- Art Ark - Terry Karpowicz
- Field Rotation - Mary Miss
- Mock II - John Payne
- V-form and Forms in Blue - John Payne
- Working on the Failed Utopia - Christine Tarkowski
- Maquette for Oscar's Inclination
There are paths to each of the works, and you can easily spend several hours ranging through our wild prairie landscape. If you visit at dusk and are very quiet, you may see some deer.
- Please do not pick our flowers or grasses. We want every visitor to be able to enjoy the same views you have experienced.
- Do not climb on the sculptures. They are not playground structures. They are works of art, just as you would find in an indoor art museum and are subject to the same issues of deterioration - except ours have to live through the snow and cold of the Illinois winter and the sun and heat of the Illinois summer! Some of the works have already spent 45 years outdoors. Please be gentle with our art.
- Informal photography is allowed of both the art and the prairie. Commercial reproduction in any way is strictly prohibited. Please contact the park office if you are interested in printing images of any of our sculpture.
- GSU Public Safety policy dictates that your bus park in parking lot East Lot 3. During discussion with park staff, you can determine where your group will disembark. Most groups enter the university at the main entry to D-Wing.
- No alcoholic beverages are allowed within the park. Smoking is permitted only in designated areas near the buildings.
Please contact the Park staff if you have questions. Thank you.