Modern Art Sculptures by John Henry at Ashland
Publisher under construction in 2019
Rocher du Diamant or Diamond Rock
Backstory and Context
The installation of the three steel sculptures on the grounds of the Ashland Estate is meant to reflect the influence of Henry Clay, who built the original home at Ashland, and the human influence in the design of the grounds. Artist John Henry designed each piece and oversaw the installation. Henry was raised in Lexington and graduated from the nearby University of Kentucky. Henry’s work is also featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Large-scale sculptures like those at Ashland are what Henry is best known for.
The tallest of the sculptures is Publisher which reaches 70 ft at its tallest point. Publisher is painted white. Next is La Tour or The Tower which is 50 ft tall and is a rust-like reddish brown color. The smallest of the sculptures is the bright yellow Rocher du Diamant or Diamond Rock which is just 13 ft tall and lies near the front of the home. The installation process for all three pieces was finished in a week during July of 2019. The estate has not announced a planned end date for the installation but have stated that it will be temporary. Visitors interested in learning more about these pieces can book an Art and Grounds Tour. Other art installations on the grounds include the wooden horse head sculpture called Maji Mazuri or Good Waters by Kiptoo Tarus which lies near Richmond Road and the Woven Vessel sculpture by Justin Roberts near the parking area.
Art at Ashland, Ashland - The Henry Clay Estate. Accessed October 17th 2020. https://henryclay.org/art-at-ashland-2/.
Clark, J. Reasons for exhibiting this work, Ashland - The Henry Clay Estate. October 18th 2019. Accessed October 17th 2020. https://henryclay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Reasons-for-exhibiting-JH-website-.pdf.
Laytham, Emily. ‘Monumental.’ What to know about the towering new art at the Henry Clay Estate., Lexington Herald Leader. July 10th 2019. Accessed October 17th 2020. https://www.kentucky.com/article232449367.html.