Cheekwood Gardens and Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee

August 27, 2011

David Wood Sculpture, Cheekwood Gardens, Nashville, TN

David Wood Sculpture. He is an earth artist broadly in the tradition of Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy, and Chris Drury and teaches at Vanderbilt. Cheekwood Gardens, credit: CarlisleFlowers

Cheekwood’s 55 acre gardens lie to the west of Nashville, TN and were originally designed by New York residential and landscape architect, Bryant Fleming for Leslie and Mabel Cheek.  They were completed in 1932.   In the 1950s, their daughter Huldah Cheek Sharp and husband Walter, donated the estate to become a botanical garden and art museum.  Did they know how generations of people would enjoy their gardens?

Cheekwood’s wooded path invites the visitor to contemplate sculpture, both modern and historic.  Clearing the trees, a hawk sits in front of a David Wood horizontal sculpture afloat in a pond.  The visitor is surprised; minutes later the hawk travels less than two feet above ground catches a bird with broken wing and swoops his captive to a tree siding the pond.  An onlooker describes the scene that enfolds.  We as one are engaged with nature.

Thomas, the Engine, at Cheekwood Gardens

Thomas, the Engine, at Cheekwood Gardens, credit: CarlisleFlowers

Minutes later on the other side of the path, children, this visitor acting as one, laughed in delight. Cheekwood has a train exhibition, TRAINS Tennessee in G,  to give the young their first memories of their garden. Here comes Thomas  around the bend.

It is a pleasure to say how engaging our host, Cheekwood was.




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