The Cheekwood Collections
The Cheek family collected and carefully displayed a collection comprised of decorative arts, paintings, furniture, textiles, silver and books. Today, The Cheekwood Collections encompass the Cheek family collection and archival materials, as well as paintings, works on paper, sculpture, decorative arts and niche collections amassed since the opening of Cheekwood to the public in 1960. Masterpieces include the largest collection of William Edmondson sculptures, Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth’s portraits of each other, fine examples by American impressionists Childe Hassam, John White Alexander and William Merritt Chase, as well as paintings and works on paper by The Eight, an early twentieth-century artist collective in New York City.
William Glackens (American, 1870-1938). Village on the Seine No. 2, 1925. Oil on canvas. Gift of an anonymous donor in honor of the 2004 Collectors Group
Cheekwood is currently conducting a Foundation for Collections Access project that has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project and on this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Outdoor Sculpture Collection/Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail
Cheekwood offers a unique environment in which to experience outdoor contemporary sculpture. The permanent collection features a diverse range of artworks—many commissioned specifically for the institution—created by regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists from Germany, Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and installed across the institution’s 55-acre estate.
The Carell Trail features a diverse range of sculptures, created by regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized artists. These works, many of which were commissioned for Cheekwood, examine the relationship between art and nature in their own distinct way, creating beautiful, thoughtful dialogues with the surrounding landscape.
Experience the feeling of being guided through a woodland path by our curators and hosts with our 30-minute audio tour. Available on-site at Visitor Services for $5.00.
Siah Armajani (American, born Iran, 1939-2020). The Glass Bridge for Nashville, 2003. Glass, steel on concrete foundation. Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Irvin Small. 2003.1.
Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence Program
The Cheekwood Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence program brings national and international artists to Nashville to create and exhibit site-specific works at Cheekwood, while allowing artists the opportunity to interact with staff, visitors, and the arts community throughout the creative process. With its renowned museum and gardens, Cheekwood offers the Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence a unique resource which broadly reflects nature and sustainability within a global art practice. The residency program provides living arrangements for the artist while he or she are in residency. Mr. Shallenberger’s connection with Cheekwood has great length and significance. In June 1971, Shallenberger, the artist, exhibited 40 paintings at Cheekwood. Visitors who attended this exhibition were afforded a worldly experience with Shallenberger’s renderings of New York, Paris, Florence, Amsterdam, and Cologne. As a citizen of the world, he enjoyed experiencing and capturing the many sites he visited on canvas. Shallenberger knew the world of art had and would continue to expand without borders. The residence program is made possible with the generous support of a private foundation.
Women to Watch: Celebrating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage
February 6 – May 2, 2021
In light of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States, Women to Watch: Celebrating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage presents works from Cheekwood’s works on paper collection by female artists. With objects by Ruth Chaney, Helen Frankenthaler, Laura Grosch, Lee Krasner, Clare Leighton, Liliane Lijn, Barbara Morgan, and Beverly Pepper, the exhibition allows the viewer to recognize the strength in the points of view of the female artist, seeing where those voices resonate, and their impact on the canon of art history. Many of the artists in the show were often viewed as secondary to their more famous male counterparts, whether that was their husbands, or their contemporaries. This show allows the work to be seen on its own, without that relational identity. The artists in this show, much like the suffragists, were fighting to have their voices be heard. This exhibition invites the viewer to consider and embrace a different focus within art’s history, to see the unseen and value the undervalued.
Clare Leighton (American, b. England, 1898-1989). Firewood in Georgia, 1936. Wood engraving on paper. Anonymous gift. 1982.6.11.
In a New Light: American Impressionism 1870-1940
March 13 – July 4, 2021
A sweeping survey of American Impressionism embracing precursor, contemporary and subsequent movements, In a New Light: American Impressionism 1870–1940 features over 130 paintings by artists including Childe Hassam, George Inness, Thomas Moran, John Sloan, Ernest Lawson, Daniel Garber and Guy Carleton Wiggins.
This exhibition provides a thought-provoking historical context for American Impressionism by positioning it between the Hudson River School—whose majestic landscapes influenced, and then gradually gave way to, French Impressionist–inspired works—and the modernist trends evident in the later pieces on view. The works included are a reflection of the changing mindset of America from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. The exhibition concentrates on regional artists’ colonies established across the United States. It explores the ways in which local artists interpreted America’s rural, maritime and urban spaces and portrayed daily life using the Impressionist devices of capturing the moment with brisk brushstrokes, a vibrant palette and atmospheric effects.
Some of the colonies/artists featured in the collection:
Cape Ann/Gloucester: James Jeffrey Grant, Emile A. Gruppe, William Morris Hunt, Jonas Lie, Philip Little, Jane Peterson; Boston: Charles Curtis Allen, Arthur Wesley Dow, John Joseph Enneking, Gertrude Fiske, Arthur Clifford Goodwin, Abbott Fuller Graves, Helena Sturtevant; Old Lyme: Ernest Albert, Gifford Beal, George M. Bruestle, Bruce Crane, Wilson Irvine, Charles Adams Platt, Chauncey Foster Ryder; Cos Cob: Charles Ebert, Childe Hassam, Ernest Lawson; Woodstock: George Wesley Bellows, John F. Carlson, Leonard Ochtman; New Hope: Daniel Garber, Edward Willis Redfield, Walter Elmer Schofield, Robert Spencer; Hoosier: Alexis Jean Fournier, Edgar Alwin Payne; Chicago: Karl Buehr, Frederick W. Freer, Louis Ritman; Taos: Oscar E. Berninghaus, Ernest Blumenschein, E. Martin Hennings, Birger Sandzén, Joseph Henry Sharp, Louis Hovey Sharp, John Sloan; San Francisco: Ransom Gillet Holdredge, Joseph Raphael; Carmel/Monterey/Catalina: Armin Carl Hansen; Santa Barbara: Carl Oscar Borg, Colin Campbell Cooper; Southern California/Pasadena: Alson S. Clark, William Wendt.
This exhibition has been loaned through the Bank of America Art in our Communities® program.
John Joseph Enneking (American 1841-1916). Apple Blossom, n.d. Oil on linen. Bank of America Collection.
Sean Kenney’s Nature POP! Made with LEGO® Bricks
May 1 – September 5, 2021
From acclaimed artist Sean Kenney and produced by Imagine Exhibitions, this exhibition features over 40 sculptures made from more than 800,000 LEGO® Bricks. Inspired by the Pop art movement, Kenney’s work blurs the boundaries between austere and the everyday, drawing from a belief that everything is interconnected. Sean Kenney’s Nature POP! Made with LEGO® Bricks explores the beauty of nature through highly stylized, colorful displays that stand in striking contrast with their surroundings. Presenting a playful spin on traditional sculptural art, this exhibition is an accessible experience for all ages designed to inspire visitors to create something wonderful themselves.
© Sean Kenney www.seankenney.com
May 8 – August 29, 2021
Graphic Arts Gallery
One of the most important and influential art styles of the 1960s, Minimalism identifies works of art most often comprised of geometric shapes in simple arrangements and lacking any decorative or dynamic flourishes. This style represented the culmination of modern art’s progression toward the most simplified form of abstract art. Featuring the work of Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, and others, MINIMALISM welcomes visitors to explore how the artists from in 1960s America learned how to paint in the wake of Abstract Expressionism.
Larry Poons (American, b. 1937), Untitled, from X + X (Ten Works by Ten Painters), 1964. Screenprint. Anonymous Gift. 1965.3.7.
En Plein Air
June 4 – September 5, 2021
For the second year, Cheekwood will invite established Nashville painters to use our spring blooms as inspiration in the annual En Plein Air exhibition. The exhibition not only emphasizes the potency of local, Nashville artists but explores a variety of inventive ways in which enraptured artists record their moments in nature. The painters will be painting during Art al Fresco in May and the works go on display beginning June 4.
Painting en plein air, meaning “in the open air”, was a core practice for artists in Europe in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century. In America, beginning with the Hudson River School, to the American impressionists, painting in the outdoors became an integral part of art education. Intrepid painters—developing the ability to quickly capture effects of light—made sometimes arduous journeys to study landscapes at magnificent sites. In this spirit of traditional plein air painting, Cheekwood invites distinguished Nashville artists to gather across the grounds as a public display of painterly talent and nature appreciation, creating original work for a juried exhibition entitled En Plein Air. Drawing on the reopening of Cheekwood’s fifty-five acres, this exhibition of work made outdoors across the estate explores the variety of inventive ways in which enraptured artists record their moments in nature.
En Plein Air is organized by Campbell Mobley, Curator of Paintings and Works on Paper, Cheekwood.
Megan Lightell, Dusk Rain Garden, 2020. Oil on canvas over panel. En Plein Air, 2020, Cheekwood.
The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments, and Stonework
August 12, 2021 – October 31, 2021
The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments, and Stonework is the first large-scale museum examination of the artist’s career in over twenty years. A Nashville native and the first Black artist to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Edmondson remains one of the most important self-taught artists of the twentieth-century. This exhibition, accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue published by Vanderbilt University Press, draws upon new scholarship on Edmondson to reevaluate the full breadth of his sculptural output on its own terms and as part of a comprehensive practice.
William Edmondson (American, 1874-1951), Bess and Joe. Limestone. Gift of Salvatore Formosa Sr., Mrs. Pete Formosa Sr., and Mrs. Rose Formosa Bromley and Museum Purchase through the Stallworth Bequest. (right)
INTERVENTIONS: Beth Katleman
September 18, 2021 – January 2, 2022
In the fall of 2021, Cheekwood will launch its latest innovative arts initiative focused on activating the mansion’s period rooms. Intended to enliven a historic environment, this program aims to create a complementary dialogue between the craftsmanship of the creative contemporary minds of today and the classical collections present within the Cheekwood mansion. The inaugural artist, Beth Katleman, will install her whimsical and satirical work offering a creative temporary shift in perspective on the museum’s permanent collection. Katleman derives her inspiration from eighteenth century Chippendale designs and traditional toile patterns to fabricate intricate installations made of porcelain.
Beth Katleman, Paradise, 2018. Porcelain, wire.
View a list of past exhibitions that took place at Cheekwood.
Cheekwood’s Riverview Gardens and Art Installation at Riverfront Park
Since 2015, Cheekwood has been partnering with the Metropolitan Government to present a garden and art installation at Riverfront Park. Cheekwood contributes to the overall care and oversight of the garden, maintaining the perennial plants and regularly installing annual plants that mirror the coinciding displays at Cheekwood. For example, in spring, Riverview Gardens features thousands of tulips reflecting the 150,000 blooming bulbs at Cheekwood.
© Jaume Plensa, Courtesy Galerie LeLong, New York