Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Frist Center for the Visual Arts

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is Nashville's art museum. The building it occupies started out as Nashville's main post office (built in the 30s), but after a larger, state-of-the-art post office opened near the airport in 1986, this building became just a branch post office.

In the early 1990s, the Frist Foundation, working with the City of Nashville and the US Postal Service, began a move to convert the old post office building into an art museum. The city took control of the building from the Postal Service in 1998, and the museum opened in 2001.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is not a collecting museum. In other words, it does not house a permanent collection of its own works. Instead, it brings in traveling exhibits and creates exhibits through loans from other museums. Its goal is to educate the public about art , and it offers a variety of educational programs such as summer camps, teacher education classes, and community outreach programs. The Martin ArtQuest Gallery has 30 interactive stations offering the opportunity to learn about art by making art.

This past Sunday, the Frist offered free admission, which they do occasionally. In addition to the exhibits (Aaron Douglas and Monet to Dali), the museum offered a jazz concert and other activities. As you can see from the photo, the place was packed, and the line to get into the main gallery wound through the building and out of the back door. The people in this photo were watching a juggler entertain on the back lawn.

In case you're wondering, the Frist family from whom the museum gets its name includes former Senator Bill Frist.

To read more about the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, click here.


oldmanlincoln said...

This building reminded me of the old or first Dayton International Airport. I wonder if these buildings were all part of some standard design the government sponsored?

Nice photo and narrative.

Rambling Round said...

It's great to see that the arts are so active and appreciated.

brian said...

Very cool post and story, Chris. I was about halfway through the 1st paragraph when I realized my dyslexia had been reading 'First' instead of 'Frist' - and Bill Frist was my 2nd thought when I realized my mistake! how funny, and thanks for the info.

George Townboy said...

I crack myself up ... I was reading "first" until I enlarged it and saw Frist!

Very interesting post!