From the Director


Before the building that houses the Frist Art Museum was erected in 1933–34, others had been razed to make room for it. With change, we can expect some losses. Yet ancient tales such as the myth of the phoenix prophesize renaissance. Realistically, a city that does not change becomes a ghost town.

The investment in a new federal building during the Great Depression was a harbinger of endurance. The design—stripped classicism on the exterior and art deco inside—was an amalgam of stability and beauty. The implicit message was that the union, our democratic republic, and those struggling would survive. Indeed, various government initiatives and relief programs provided assistance as the nation recovered economically.

The metropolitan Nashville area is experiencing a building boom. We were sorry that because of construction in the area, Rome: City and Empire was closed a month early. Rest assured that no object was damaged or lost—every precaution was taken. Moreover, everyone involved with the exhibition and construction acted in good faith, generously collaborating on the conditions that made it possible for us to present the antiquities for more than two months.

When the old post office was repurposed as the Frist in 2001, it experienced a rebirth that has enriched the lives of millions. Our expectation is that nothing will shake us from our mission and vision during this period of local growth and change.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Frist Art Museum. Game on!

Susan H. Edwards, PhD
Executive Director and CEO


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