Sculpture Trail

Please note: The Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail is currently closed for renovations and enhancements. This feature is scheduled to reopen in Spring 2020. For more information on the updates, please see details below. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail

The Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Traill was established in 1999 through the generosity of Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. and features contemporary sculptures on a woodland trail, a concept not commonly found in American museums. The Trail is a loop of approximately one mile, and includes eleven sculptures by internationally recognized contemporary artists such as James Turrell, Sophie Ryder and Jenny Holzer. Many of the sculptures were commissioned for their specific location, emphasizing the beauty of the Cheekwood landscape.

Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail Enhancement

Groundbreaking: 2019
Reopening: 2020

A $5 million lead gift from The Ann & Monroe Carell Foundation (Kathryn and David Brown, Edie and David Johnson, Julie Carell Stadler) will support the endowment and enhancement of the Sculpture Trail.

Enhancements include:
• ADA accessibility and installation of lighting throughout a section of the Sculpture Trail, allowing for evening accessibility and offering a new user experience
• New trailhead entrance and wayfinding, clearly indicating access points and navigation around the Sculpture Trail
• Enhanced horticultural experiences which will create seasonality within the space, diversify the landscape, and complement the sculptures
• “Daylighting” part of the trail to create a meadow and diversify the spatial experience
• Conservation of existing sculptures
• Established infrastructure and support for showcasing temporary or long-term installations on the trail, either alone or as part of larger exhibitions
• The design process is being led by Nashville-based Hawkins Partners, Inc. Gary Hawkins is the principal-in-charge

Untitled (In a Dream)

Jenny Holzer (born 1950 in Gallipolis, Ohio)

Jenny Holzer has created text-based public sculpture since the late 1970’s, beginning with a series of posters which she called Truisms. Holzer is well-known for text works on posters, t-shirts, electronic signs, light projections and stone sculptures. This bench is from a series of eight benches called the Survival Series. Holzer was selected to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1990, and her sculptures have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. 

1997 | Vermont white marble 

Museum Purchase with Funds provided by various Donors through Exchange | 1998.5

© 2019 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York (Right)

Glass Bridge

Siah Armajani (born 1939 in Tehran, Iran)

Siah Armajani was born in Iran and has lived in Minnesota since 1960. Armajani creates public sculptures that straddle the space between art and architecture. Bridges have long been a theme in his work – an exhibition devoted solely to Armajani’s bridges was realized by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City in 2016. Armajani also focuses on gardens, walkways, pavilions and shelters in his public sculptural works. He has exhibited internationally and his work is included in numerous museum collections in the United States and Europe. 

1997-98 | Glass, steel, on concrete foundations

Museum Commission | 2003.1

Girdled Figure

Tom Czarnopys (born 1957 in Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Tom Czarnopys is strongly influenced by the time he spent in the forests of Michigan during his youth. He was fascinated by the trees and the relationships he saw between humanity and nature. He was enamored with the beauty of the forest –  the plumage of birds, the details of ferns and mosses, and the bark of the trees. Czarnopys attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and began making masks out of natural materials. This practice led to Czarnopys creating bark suits and looking at other ways of connecting the body to the trees and natural materials. The sculpture in the Cheekwood Museum collection derives from this practice, as Czarnopys used casts of his own body to meld the body to the tree, creating a synthesized form of man and nature. 

1989 (cast 1997) | Bronze

Museum Acquisition | 1997.2

Turtle, Two Hares, Frog, and Hawk

Frank Fleming (born 1940 in Bear Creek, Alabama)

The natural world plays a central role in the sculptures of Frank Fleming. Having grown up on a farm in rural Alabama, Fleming was immersed in nature as a child and that influence has stayed with his work ever since. After spending some time as a technical illustrator for NASA, Fleming returned to school and earned an MFA in Ceramics at the University of Alabama, eventually establishing his studio in Birmingham. His talents were soon recognized and he had early successes including a solo show at the Birmingham Museum of Art in 1974. He has continued to live and work in Birmingham and his work has exhibited and collected widely throughout the country. 

1997-98 | Bronze

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Carell and the 1996 Swan Ball Patrons | 1998.3a-e


Ulrich Rückriem (born 1938 in Dusseldorf, Germany)

Having worked in stone quarries from an early age and trained as a stone mason at Cologne Cathedral, Rückriem is known for creating public sculptures in stone. A proponent of Process Art, where the act of creation can be of greater significance than the finished product, the stones show the history of their excavation through the quarry marks on their surfaces. One of his best known works is Siglo XX, an arrangement of twenty large granite steles in a field near Huesca in northwestern Spain. Rückriem’s works are in many collections throughout Europe and the United States, including a permanent installation of nearly 100 sculptures at Sculpture Halls Ulrich Rückriem in Sinsteden, Germany. 

1993 | Yugoslavian granite

Museum Acquisition | 1997.5

Tree Poem

John T. Scott (born 1940 in New Orleans, Louisiana – died 2007 in Houston, Texas)

John T. Scott was born in New Orleans and spent most of his life there, the city being an important part of his life and a major influence on his work. In his artwork Scott focused on prints and sculptures that often have as themes Africans and African-Americans, as well as the specific culture and music of New Orleans. After receiving his master’s degree from the University of Michigan, he returned to New Orleans and taught art at Xavier University for four decades. Scott received a grant in 1983 to study under the sculptor George Rickey, whose work One Line Horizontal Floating – Twenty Feet is part of the Cheekwood Museum of Art collection and is on view outside the Museum behind the Swan Lawn. Scott later received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Grant in 1992. His work is in museums and collections worldwide. 

1998 | Aluminum, wood

Museum Commission | 1998.4

Blue Pesher

James Turrell (born 1943 in Los Angeles, California)

Inspired by ancient cultures and native peoples, as well as science and human perception, James Turrell creates works which focus on light and space. Turrell explains, “I have no object, no image, no point of focus… my interest is in the plumbing of the space”. He holds a degree in psychology from Pomona College, a Masters of Art from Claremont Graduate School, and is the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Grant, among numerous other awards. Turrell’s magnum opus is the Roden Crater in Arizona, an extremely large scale work whose construction is ongoing. Begun in 1977, the Roden Crater is a volcanic crater that contains spaces designed for controlled viewing and observation of the sky. Turrell has created his light and space works in institutions worldwide. 

1997-98 | Poured Concrete, neon, and other materials | Circular room, partially underground

Museum Commission | 1999.4

L’Ordine del Presente e il Disordine del Futuro. Saint-Just   (The Present Order is the Disorder of the Future. Saint-Just) 

Ian Hamilton Finlay (born 1925, Nassau, Bahamas – died 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Ian Hamilton Finlay was a Scottish poet and artist who became known for his concrete poetry. He was as a soldier in WWII and then a shepherd before beginning to publish his poems. He later began to inscribe writing on to objects, many of which are in his famous gardens, Little Sparta, in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The text here is from Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, a leader in the French Revolution, which was one of Finlay’s recurring subjects. Finlay’s work focused on poetry, philosophy, gardening, landscape and history. 

1988 | Stone

Museum Acquisition | 1997.4

High-back Windharp Chairs

Doug Hollis (born 1948 in Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Doug Hollis has created a wide-ranging body of work which he calls “sound structures and landscape”. Hollis is strongly influenced by Native American culture and his sculptures are focused on ecological design and natural phenomena. Landscape and the forces that are continually engaged with it is the subject matter for Hollis’ water and wind driven sound structures. Hollis has created structures for permanent and temporary installations in institutions across the United States.  

1987 | Painted Steel and piano wire

Gift of BE&K Engineering and Construction, Birmingham, Alabama | 1999.1.1-2

Sculpture Trail at Cheekwood

Crawling Lady Hare

Sophie Ryder (born 1963 in London, UK)

Sophie Ryder has spent much of her career drawing and sculpting mythical creatures that are animal/human hybrids. She creates them out of a variety of materials, including plaster, marble, cast bronze and wire. Ryder first envisioned the Lady Hare character as a female companion to the Minotaur, who Ryder sees as a loving and protective figure, unlike the terror of the labyrinth in Greek mythology. Ryder’s work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK and the United States. 

1997 | Galvanized wire on steel armature

Museum Commission | 1997.8

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