In terms of its organization and ambition, Sonsbeek '52 can be considered a repetition of the first, well-attended Sonsbeek exhibition. Unlike the first Sonsbeek, where three-quarters of the sculptures were made by Dutch artists, Sonsbeek '52 paid more attention to the work of the French masters Auguste Rodin, Artistide Maillol, Charles Despiau, and Antoine Bourdelle.
As a result, the emphasis came to be placed on Neoclassicism, which also confirmed the hegemony of these sculptors. But several contemporary and rather avant-garde artists also exhibited their work, for example the Italian Marino Marini (Equestrian statue) and the Frenchman Jean Arp (Preadamitische tors). Although their sculptures had a traditional subject matter and were made of bronze, they leaned much more towards abstraction, which was in marked contrast to the Neoclassical sculptures. Yet there was perhaps only one work on display that could truly be seen as innovative for that time: Beweegbare plastiek by the American Alexander Calder.