Why CCS?

arial view of a sculpture garden

Josephine F. Ford Sculpture Garden

Established in 2005, The Josephine F. Ford Sculpture Garden at the College for Creative Studies is a collaboration with the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and is the centerpiece of the College’s Ford Campus in Midtown Detroit.

A spectacular display of 20th century sculpture, the two-acre site comprises 12 sculptures from the DIA’s permanent collection and was the city’s first sculpture garden open to the public. The completion of the garden was made possible by a generous gift from Honorary Trustee and longtime CCS supporter, the late Josephine F. Ford, and was designed by Grissim Metz Andriese Associates.

Unifying the campus both visually and physically, the Josephine F. Ford Sculpture Garden offers CCS students, faculty and staff — as well as the community at large — a stroll along an elliptical walk connecting the Walter B. Ford II, Art Center, Yamasaki and Kresge-Ford buildings. The garden’s landscape features large maple and pear trees, rose shrubs, benches for relaxing and lighting designed by CCS alumnus Bob White (’89, Industrial Design).

In 2018, the College installed Bowl with Folds, a monumental cedar sculpture by the artist Ursula von Rydingsvard. DIA supporters Janis B. and William M. Wetsman generously donated the sculpture to the museum, and it remains on long-term loan to CCS. The massive (12 ft. x 16 ft. x 16 ft.) Bowl with Folds has numerous column-like round forms with a hollow interior that is not visible. It is characteristic of von Rydingsvard’s abstract pieces that often evoke common objects and human-like figures and functional objects.

A gift specifically made to the College, the sculpture garden is, ultimately, a gift to the city — a beautiful and peaceful respite from the hectic pace of Midtown Detroit.

Le Cheval Majeur (The Grand Horse), Raymond Duchamp-Villon, 1914
Grand Couple, Etienne-Martin, 1946
Goddess of the Golden Thighs, Reuben Nakian, 1964-66
The X and its Tails, Alexander Calder, 1967
Up Front, Anthony Caro, 1971
Mozarabe, Richard Serra, 1971
Two Lines Oblique Down, Variation III, George Rickey, 1971
Ashtabula, Michael D. Hall, 1972
Normanno Wedge, Beverly Pepper, 1983
Untitled, Albert Paley, 1992
Hip and Stone, Richard Nonas, 1997
Bowl with Folds, Ursula von Rydingsvard, 1998-99

red metal industrial sculptureAshtabula, Michael D. Hall, 1972

organic layered wooden sculptureBowl with Folds, Ursula von Rydingsvard, 1998-99

metal sculpture of two abstract thingGrand Couple, Etienne-Martin, 1946

metal sculpture in female formGoddess of the Golden Thighs, Reuben Nakian, 1964-66

circle of stone chairsHip and Stone, Richard Nonas, 1997

metal vertical wedge-like sculptureNormanno Wedge, Beverly Pepper, 1983