Criteria for Submission

What is "outdoor sculpture?"

According to the guidelines of the national Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS) survey, outdoor sculpture is defined as follows:

A three-dimensional artwork that is cast, carved, modeled, fabricated, fired or assembled in materials such as stone, wood, metal, ceramic or plastic, located in an outdoor setting and is accessible to the public.

We have created the following definition for our use with this database:

A human-created, three-dimensional form, intentionally made or repurposed to be an object of contemplation, located outdoors and visible to the public.

Because the general public, while viewing outdoor sculpture, may encounter cultural heritage objects that they may consider sculpture, statues or landmarks, there are items of cultural heritage relevancy included here for their information. There have also been sculptures removed from display, but are here listed to clear up questions.

Some types of outdoor sculpture are omitted from the survey. In most cases, the following categories are excluded:

  • Grave markers/headstones: Carved headstones, sculptural markers, memorial tombs, urns, generic mourning figures, etc. The exceptions in this category are original or unique sculptural works associated with grave sites and those particularly significant to a community.
  • Commemorative works: Plaques, historical markers or tablets, obelisks and shafts that do not have or are not associated with three-dimensional sculpture.
  • Architectural structures: Structures such as The Gateway Arch in St. Louis that do not have sculptural components
  • Architectural ornamentation: Minor decorative embellishments, such as rosettes, keystones, garlands, wreaths, coats of arms and other ornamental relief works
  • Mass-produced items: Commercial products, garden ornaments, weather vanes, whirligigs, shop signs, figureheads and circus carvings

If you’d like to add another public sculpture to this database or update existing information we have on our site, please email us at