The iconography throughout Schermerhorn Symphony Center pays tribute to Middle Tennessee and to our community. Read below to find out more about the art inside and outside our building:
Laura Turner Concert Hall
The sculptural relief panels that decorate the box seats in the concert hall are in honor of Laura Turner, mother of patrons Laura Turner Dugas, Steve Turner and Cal Turner. The architects sat down with the family in order to find out more about Laura Turner. By using a few snapshots from her life, the panel's design incorporates the image of a horse, three interlocking horseshoes, roses, tulips, a musical staff and a keyboard.
The passionflower, Tennessee's state wildflower, is depicted on the keystones above the building's arched windows, as well as in the wall fountains in the Martha Rivers Ingram Garden.
Tennessee's state flower, the iris, appears throughout the entire building, adorning railings, mechanical grills elevator doors, the tops of columns and the organ case. Iris buds can also be seen on the tops of the interior columns which overlook the main lobby.
Cast nickel-silver coffee beans appear on the top of each elevator car. These refer to the Cheek family, who founded the coffee company that eventually became known as Maxwell House Coffee. The Cheek family played a large role in the history of the Nashville Symphony - their estate, known as Cheekwood, once served as a meeting place for the Nashville Symphony and later, a performing venue.
A flying lyre motif which appears on the building's exterior north façade references Apollo, the Greek god associated with music. The design is also modeled after a motif that appears on the Egyptian Revival-style Downtown Presbyterian Church.
Pilot's wheels can be seen on the balconies on the north side of the building. The metal railing uses a riverboat pilot's wheel to recognize the importance of the barge industry in Nashville's history. The icon is also a tribute to Ingram Industries, a barge company founded by the late husband of symphony benefactor and board member Martha Ingram.
The exterior of Schermerhorn Symphony Center is adorned with art commissioned by nationally recognized artists.
Orpheus and Eurydice
Artist: Ray Kaskey of Washington D.C.
Material: Limestone relief sculpture
Size: 48' w X 8' h
Location: Triangle-shaped pediment above the center's main entrance
The Birth of Apollo
Artist: Casey Eskridge of Avondale, Pa
Material: Bronze sculpture as centerpiece of fountain
Size: Approximately 15' w X 25'h
Location: Just off Fourth Avenue and Symphony Place
Artist: Marton Varo of Hungary
Material: marble sculpture
Size: Approximately 3' w X 8' h
Location: Within the garden along Fourth Avenue.
The Recording Angel
Artist: Audrey Flack of New York
Material: bronze statue
Size: Approximately 4' w X 9' h
Location: Corner of Fourth and Demonbreun, in the Community Plaza