The Frist Art Museum
Carl Collins shares his memories about working at Nashville's main post office building, now home to the Frist Art Museum.
From Post Office to Nashville's Art Center
Photo by Petyon Hoge
I cannot express my delight upon discovering the Frist. First of all, I fell in love with the magnificent building. What an extraordinary re-use of a historic space! From our initial visit I was enthralled and profoundly impressed by your mission of bringing art of the highest quality from around the world to Nashville. I applaud your commitment to contemporary art. Your Martin ArtQuest Gallery is a fantastic resource for kids and families.
-- Frist Art Museum Member
The vision of the Frist Art Museum is to inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways.
The mission of the Frist Art Museum is to present and originate high-quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach activities.
The Frist Art Museum opened in April 2001 and has since hosted touring exhibitions from some of the most prestigious collections in the world, as well as award-winning shows organized in-house. Our exhibitions change every few months, so plan to visit often to see what’s new. See a list of current and upcoming exhibitions.
The Frist Art Museum was conceived as a family-friendly place and one of the most popular locations in the center is the innovative Martin ArtQuest Gallery. It’s a colorful space alive with the sounds of learning through making art! ArtQuest activities abound for people of all ages. With 30 interactive stations, and the assistance of knowledgeable staff and volunteers, ArtQuest teaches through activity. Make a print, paint your own original watercolor, create your own colorful sculpture! It’s all there in ArtQuest, and it’s free with gallery admission for adults and always free for youth 18 and under.
While at the Frist Art Museum, be sure to stop by the Frist Art Museum’s beautiful Gift Shop. There, you’ll find a fabulous array of art prints, books, educational materials, art supplies, clothing, blown glass, pottery, and magnificent jewelry made by local and regional artisans. Items are available in a wide range of prices, so there’s always something to fit your budget. Because much of the merchandise relates to the Frist Art Museum’s exhibitions, the array changes often. No wonder it’s often called the best gift shop in Nashville. Discounts for Frist Art Museum members can make it a bargain hunter’s dream!
The popular Frist Art Museum café features a variety of delicious homemade soups, luscious desserts, salads, and sandwiches, making it a popular gathering place for brunch, lunch, and snacks, as well as dinner on Thursdays and Fridays, when the museum stays open until 9:00 p.m. Food trucks provide additional options during events such as Family Festival Day and Art After Dark.
Visitors can consume food in the Turner Courtyard, which has served as a site for weddings and other celebrations. (See our venue rental page for details.) Our Rose on 65th Street sculpture has appeared in countless portraits (and some proposals!) since its arrival in 2012.
Frist Art Museum memberships are available at a number of levels and are a great bargain. Membership is another great Frist Art Museum value and includes unlimited visits, special Member-only invitations, gift shop discounts, discounted parking, guest passes, and special rates on venue rental, just to name a few benefits.
The Frist Art Museum is open seven days a week. For information on adult or student tours, click here.