Light: Installations by Bruce Munro at Longwood Gardens

There is no question that Longwood Gardens is one of the stars of the Brandywine Valley. You might not think it could shine any brighter, but Bruce Munro has taken on that challenge yet again. Throughout the Gardens, Light: Installations by Bruce Munro transports viewers into a universe of light. On display now through October 30th, it is an experience not to be missed.

Bruce Munro

Munro first exhibited at Longwood Gardens in 2012, his first time showing in the United States. “We are excited to present a collection of new, unique installations by Bruce that will enchant and amaze our guests yet again,” said Longwood Gardens President and CEO Paul B. Redman. “Since he first wowed our guests, Bruce has gone on to delight audiences across the United States and around the globe with his imaginative and beautiful artwork.”

The original 2012 exhibition was an incredible experience, showing the Gardens—so familiar to many in the area—in a whole new light (pun intended). It was also a first for Longwood Gardens, which had not hosted an exhibition on this scale in its entire history. Famous for its horticulture and lavish Christmas displays, it was a risk to bring in something so modern and unknown. However, it paid off—attendance increased over fifty percent during the exhibition, and the Gardens have been rapidly expanding and enhancing their grounds ever since.


“Returning to Longwood Gardens is a bit like coming home,” said Bruce Munro in a press release for the exhibit. “I am excited to return to this remarkable place and to share with guests new works that I hope will inspire them through the interplay of nature, landscape, and light.”

The large-scale exhibition features eight entirely new light installations throughout the property. Inside the Conservatory, the floor of the Exhibition Hall is covered by thousands of overlapping CDs shimmering with projections that imitate the famous waterlily display on view just outside the glass doors. The audio accompaniment creates a full sensory experience.

Field of Light

Even frequent guests may be surprised at how Lights takes them to the far corners of the Gardens, from the Field of Light by the Large Lake to the Orchard to the Chimes Tower. Taking a walk through Longwood is always an immersive experience, but the scale of these works truly must be seen to be believed. Tens of thousands of individual lights and other components were used to create this event.

It took more than Munro and the experts of Longwood to create this exhibit. “As someone who helped install the Field of Light, I can attest that the exhibit took a lot of volunteer power!” says Melissa Bullitt, one of the many who gave their time and energy to the project. Volunteers are always welcome and necessary at Longwood, and help with everything from pruning to planting, directing new guests or guiding hands-on activities for the youngest visitors. “One guest asked me what I was making,” Bullitt says, “I replied, ‘Art!’”

The process for each exhibit was carefully curated and executed. As Bullitt explains, in Field of Light, “After each fiber-optic wire and stake was installed, over 18,000 glass globes had to be screwed into place. Each volunteer filled canvas bags with about thirty globes at a time and carefully stepped over wires to distribute the globes on top of each stake out in the field. Volunteers then returned to the bins to fill their bags up with more globes. This process was repeated over and over again for the duration of each volunteers' shift, in all kinds of weather, until the project was complete. It was labor-intensive, but the result was definitely worthwhile!”


Longwood is an inspirational place at any moment, and has been for decades. Exhibitions such as Light create a new lens through which to view the natural wonders. As Munro notes, “Art is a strong way of connecting people to themselves and the landscape.” Bullitt agrees: “For me, Longwood is a place of peace, and beauty. Being surrounded by the beautiful gardens and friendly staff and volunteers is always so healing. I appreciate this more especially coming out of the past few years of the pandemic.”

The impact of the Gardens on visitors for the last century can’t be underestimated. Bullitt says she hopes visitors come away with a sense of “how important both art and gardens are for our physical and emotional health and wellbeing.” Munro has a similar sentiment, saying, “I hope to inspire guests to become more aware of the space they are in and to revel in the wonder that is Longwood Gardens.”

Light: Installations by Bruce Munro is on view through October 30th, Thursday through Sunday evenings. The best experience is from dusk until closing at 11 pm. Special tickets are required, Members require free timed reservations if attending in the afternoons and evenings. Longwood Gardens is located at 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA. Tickets and more information are available at

About Victoria Rose

Victoria Rose (she/her) is an editor, writer, avid reader, self-described geek, and fan of all things creative. Her passion for words has led to her current career as a freelance editor, and she is the owner of Flickering Words, an editing service. When not wielding a red pen (or cursor), she loves reading books of all genres, playing video, board, and word games, baking ridiculous creations to show off on the internet, or enjoying the gorgeous outdoors. She is a board member of the West Chester Film Festival and part of the Thirsty Monsters, a team of streamers from around the world who fundraise for various charities supporting LGBTQIA+ and accessibility rights. She can be found online @WordsFlickering or the Brandywine Art Guide @BrandywineArtGuide.



1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.