Exhibitions

Current Exhibitions

Orchids in the Mansion

January 30 – February 28, 2021

Orchids in the Mansion, now in its third year, was inspired by Dale Chihuly’s Persian Chandelier that graced the Loggia ceiling for six months in Cheekwood’s anniversary year. The floral display will not mimic the specific nature of the piece, but rather continue the artistic bravado that celebrates one of the most dramatically beautiful rooms in Nashville.

The orchid show activates a third season at Cheekwood and celebrates the beauty of nature at a time when the gardens are otherwise dormant. The exhibition builds on the historic backdrop to create the same juxtaposition employed by Chihuly and even much of the permanent sculpture on display throughout the gardens – exuberant, modern artworks presented in contrast to the classical venue.

Three nine-foot chandeliers will hang along the room’s length, each consisting of a series of wire globes articulated around a central axis. The globes, themselves, will be covered in orchids, ferns and other decorative foliage, hanging not too far off the Loggia floor. Directly beneath the hanging trio is a twenty-eight-foot-long mirrored panel, reflecting the light and the image of the orchids above.

The color palette is primarily pink and yellow with accents of light green, expressed in a combination of Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium and Cymbidium. The crisp, modern orchid display will be framed by a hedge of English Laurel and balanced by a rich tropical ensemble flanking the historic fountain at the west side of the magnificent room.

Presented By

 

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.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Permanent Collection Galleries

Opening February 26, 2021 *originally scheduled to open February 20

This February the Stallworth and Thompson Galleries will be installed to display Cheekwood’s collection of American paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from the Centennial through the Second World War. A highlight of the installation is Juliette (The Green Dress), c. 1897, by John White Alexander (American, 1856-1915). This painting entered the collection in 2019 and has yet to be on public view. Alexander had been much in demand as a portrait artist like his expat contemporaries, such as John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase. But it was Alexander’s penchant for painting femme fatales attired in flowing dresses and striking elaborate poses which earned him even greater acclaim. In Juliette (The Green Dress), Alexander paints Juliette Very, the Parisian model who became his muse, sitting in an oversized chair while donning a gorgeous green dress that exposes her fair-skinned decolletage. There is a richness to Alexander’s paintings that evokes the fantasy of how the other half lives, sitting around, with nothing to do but wear gorgeous gowns. The work will be on display with other masterpieces from the collection, including works of the American Impressionists, the Ashcan School, selections of American Art Pottery and the Aesthetic Movement silver, among others.

John White Alexander (American, 1865 – 1915). Juliette (The Green Dress), c. 1897. Oil on canvas. Gift of the Marlene and Spencer Hays Foundation. 2019.07.

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 works 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 American 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

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.

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.

More information coming soon on additional 2021 exhibitions including MINIMALISM, Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Capturing Culture, Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence Natasha Bowdoin, and many more.

Past Exhibitions

View a list of past exhibitions that took place at Cheekwood.

Past exhibitions

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