NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the 1920s, the Cheek family traveled to England with architect Bryant Fleming to study architectural styles and purchase furniture and décor for the Cheekwood Mansion. While on tour, the Cheeks purchased enough works of art and architectural elements to fill numerous railway carriages for transport to Nashville. Some ninety years later, British artist Michael Eden finds inspiration in the Cheek collection and the physical requirements of its compilation. His exhibition of three-dimensional works will be on view from August 13 through November 6, 2022.
Made with 3D printing technology, the exhibition contains fifteen works, displayed throughout the period rooms in the Cheekwood Mansion on custom-made packing crates, as if they have just been delivered to the estate. They serve as visual links to historic objects, recorded activities and built environments of the Cheekwood site.
"All works of art have a story to tell,” says artist Michael Eden. “In placing my pieces amongst those collected by the Cheek family, I hope the old and new will contrast and complement each other.
The aim for this exhibition is to give the visitor insight into how and why such works were created and to be able to appreciate the evolution of art and craft."
Eden is known internationally for creating artworks that explore the abstract qualities of vessels, utilizing digital manufacturing and materials to redesign familiar historical objects.
"We are thrilled to work with Michael Eden as part of our second installment of the INTERVENTIONS program,” says museum curator Eric Birkle. “Through his creations, Eden conveys a real sensitivity to the precision and delicacy of historic ceramics and sculptural work, which comprise a significant portion of the Cheek Family Collection. He also provides a sense of timelessness through the use of novel technologies and materials, which speak to the connection that exists between the past and present of Cheekwood’s period architecture.”
About the Artist
Michael Eden is a maker whose work sits at the intersection of craft, design and art, exploring contemporary themes through the redesign of historical, culturally familiar objects utilizing digital manufacturing and materials. Eden earned an MPhil at the Royal College of Art in London, England, allowing him to explore how his interest in digital technology could be developed and combined with the craft skills he had acquired during his previous experience as a potter. Through his work, Eden investigates the relationship between hand and digital tools and is particularly interested in how the tacit knowledge and sensibility to the three-dimensional object, developed through extended ceramic practice, can affect and influence the approach to the creation of objects using digital technology. Having attracted wide media and public attention, Eden’s work is exhibited internationally and acquired by a growing number of international art galleries and collectors. He is represented by Adrian Sassoon.
With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55-acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and art museum with furnished period rooms and galleries devoted to American art from the 18th to mid-20th centuries. The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring outdoor monumental sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood hosts seasonal festivals including Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest and Holiday LIGHTS. Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden and in 2021 was recognized by Fodors as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the American South. Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of operation depending on the season. Check cheekwood.org for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission.