Contemporary art at Forest Hills Cemetery

The Trust organized its first exhibition of contemporary sculpture, Art of the Spirit, in 1998, as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Cemetery's founding. The Contemporary Sculpture Path, now on view, was founded in 2001 with many of the pieces from this first exhibition. Some of this work has been generously donated to the Trust by the artists.

The Trust also organizes temporary exhibitions of site specific installation art and sculpture. These themed exhibitions include work commissioned by the Trust and inspired by the landscape and history of Forest Hills. The artists are typically selected by juries made up of curators, artists, landscape architects or architects; each exhibition has a different jury. Although many of the installations are made using temporary materials, some work from from each exhibition has been incorporated into the Contemporary Sculpture Path after the exhibition closed.

Some of the new work created by contemporary artists reflects on themes similar to those found in the historic sculpture: family, nature, memory, the cycle of life and the reality of mortality. Some of it relates to the qualities and forms of particular places within the cemetery. The materials and styles used by artists today are quite varied. One of the pleasures of these exhibitions is to see the way the contemporary art echoes or contrasts from the historic sculpture.