Come visit our collection of reproduction Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman sculptures in a magnificent and tranquil space.
Our Hall of Sculpture was inspired by the iconic Parthenon temple in Athens, Greece. Dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Parthenon was known for its imperial scale, stunning decorative sculptures, and harmonious architectural elements. The Hall of Sculpture is modeled after the Parthenon’s inner sanctuary, or cella, which featured a double tier of columns.
The hall was constructed using brilliant white marble from the same quarries in Greece that provided the stone for the Parthenon. A balcony with a decorative iron railing offers visitors on the museum’s second floor a chance to also enjoy the view. Today, the balcony is reserved for decorative arts objects, like glass, ceramics, and metalwork that date from the 18th to the 20th century.
Some of Andrew Carnegie’s cast collection, including several pieces from the Parthenon itself, are currently on display in the Hall of Architecture, and, you’ll also find several works on pedestals around the Hall of Sculpture balcony as a reminder of the room’s original purpose. If you look up in the Hall of Sculpture, you’ll see a plaster reproduction of the carved frieze that was originally on the exterior of the Parthenon’s cella. This frieze depicts the procession that inaugurated the annual festival of Athena in ancient Athens.
Today, the Hall of Sculpture displays works from our permanent collection and frequently hosts site-specific installations and performances, providing a unique and worthwhile experience every time you encounter this awe-inspiring space!
The Tongue of the Cherokee is a site-specific work presented as part of the 1988 Carnegie International by German artist Lothar Baumgarten.
The artist drew inspiration from the Cherokee syllabary—symbols that represent syllables—invented by Sequoyah (ca. 1770–1843). A polymath and self-taught linguist, Sequoyah devised the syllabary in 1821. By 1825, the Cherokee Nation, which had primarily used an oral language, adopted it as its official written language. The increase in the nation’s literacy to almost 100% by the 1850s—especially against the historical backdrop of the forced removal of Cherokee people as part of the Trail of Tears (1830–1850)—speaks to the immense significance of the syllabary. Inspired by Sequoyah’s ingenuity and purpose, Baumgarten inscribed the 85 characters of the Cherokee syllabary upon the glass panels of the skylight in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hall of Sculpture.
The installation is positioned in a space modeled on the Parthenon, the temple of Athena in Greece. By presenting the syllabary in this site that monumentalizes Western culture, the artist intended to challenge claims of Western cultural superiority.
Nicole Eisenman Prince of Swords
The work of Nicole Eisenman spans the absurd and abject to the introspective and irreverent, drawing on sources as varied as the iconography of classical myths and contemporary popular culture. Her paintings and sculptures vacillate between the depiction of a world rooted in the visual language of art history and a forthright, comedic, and critical meditation on everyday life.
Prince of Swords is one of five figurative sculptures the artist created for the museum’s Hall of Sculpture for the 2013 Carnegie International. The title refers to the prince (analogous to the “jack”) of the suit of swords in the tarot, a deck of occult playing cards used in fortune-telling. The prince of swords is an ambiguous symbol, referring to a private and deceptive but also highly intelligent and well-educated person with a sharp mind and great capacity for abstract thinking. Eisenman’s interpretation blends in eastern mysticism as well: the quartz crystal lodged in the neck refers to the throat chakra, the seat of communication and self-expression in tantric belief systems. These arcane allusions meet contemporary life in the prince’s antisocial posture, hunched over a smart phone, suggesting an archetypal character adapted to modern ways of being.
Thu Van Tran Colors of Grey
On view through February 2026
Colors of Grey is part of Thu Van Tran’s ongoing exploration of remembrance and systems of erasure in the context of Vietnam’s geo-historical relations with France and the United States. For this work, the artist takes as point of departure the “Rainbow Herbicides” used by the US military during the Vietnam War. These chemicals were sprayed over 4.5 million acres of forests, rivers, and farmland—devastating plant, animal, and human life. Although Agent Orange is the best known of these herbicides, it was combined with Agents White, Pink, Green, Blue, and Purple to form a lethal weapon with devastating impact on the people of Vietnam and their land for generations. In the Hall of Sculpture, Tran worked with pigments that match the color of these herbicides, layering them to create ten frescos that not only recall the violence of war but also depictions of the sublime in Western painting. Further, Tran draws attention to the word “rainbow,” which in this context of human-made horror, has turned this natural wonder grey.
Colors of Grey was commissioned by Carnegie Museum of Art for the 58th Carnegie International. This artwork is on loan to the museum, courtesy of the artist.