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Catalog, Gallery Guide and Wall Text Offered in English, Spanish

NASHVILLE, TENN.—(January 13, 2010)—The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will open Masterpieces of European Painting from Museo de Arte de Ponce Friday, Feb. 19, 2010. This exhibition, composed of 60 of the greatest highlights of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, located in Ponce, Puerto Rico, will be on view in the Ingram Gallery of the Frist Center through
May 16, 2010.

The gallery guide, family guide and labels for the exhibition are written in Spanish and English. The fully illustrated exhibition catalog is also bilingual and includes entries by Katie E. Delmez and Trinita Kennedy, curators at the Frist Center, and Frist Center Executive Director and CEO Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D.

The Museo de Arte de Ponce is widely recognized for its fine collection of Italian and Spanish Baroque, French Academic and British 19th-century art. The museum opened just 50 years ago as Luis A. Ferré, who served as the governor of Puerto Rico from 1968 to 1972, began assembling an encyclopedic collection of art for his fellow Puerto Ricans to enjoy. Today, the museum possesses more than 3,000 works of art and has one of the finest holdings of Old and Modern Master paintings in the Americas.

The exhibition ranges from the gold-leaf idealism of the late Middle Ages to the detailed realism of the end of the 19th century and brings together iconic works from the collection’s Italian, French, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, German and Austrian schools of painting. Among the artists represented are Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), Bernardo Strozzi (1581–1644), Francisco de Zurbarán (1598–1664), Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882), Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833–1898).

“This collection of European art from the Museo de Arte de Ponce is a tribute to Ferré’s vision and commitment to beauty from all the ages” says Trinita Kennedy, associate curator at the Frist Center. “He wanted to create an institution that would allow his fellow Puerto Ricans access to the work of some of the finest artists in the world. The collection, while relatively little known outside Puerto Rico until recent years, is truly extraordinary. Like Thomas Frist, founder of the Frist Center, Ferré had education as one of his primary goals for his museum. He succeeded, to be sure. Not only does the collection include some of the ‘stars’ of the art world, but he also acquired superb works by artists who, though lesser known, have made important artistic contributions,” Kennedy concluded.

The museum founder’s grandson, Benigno Trigo, who currently resides in Nashville and teaches at Vanderbilt University, has written the exhibition’s gallery guide. Composed from a personal point of view, Trigo’s essay, Luis Ferré’s Sensibility: The Healing Core of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, recalls the travels, inspirations and aspirations that led Ferré to begin collecting and to his subsequent creation of the Museo de Arte de Ponce.

“We are thrilled to have such a personal connection to this exhibition,” said Frist Center Executive Director and CEO Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D. “Benigno Trigo has been wonderful in helping us look beyond the works on the wall to understand how art transformed his grandfather’s life and the lives of those around him.”

Luis A. Ferré, a true 20th-century Renaissance man, studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and music at the New England Conservatory of Music. Following graduation, he returned to his native Puerto Rico where he became an industrialist, gifted pianist, philanthropist and, eventually, governor of the island. Inspired by the American way of democracy he experienced in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ferré applied democratic principles to a number of his endeavors back home, one of which was helping to transform the family business into a successful industrial and media empire. With the advice of art historians, Ferré assembled what is today the core of an impressive collection and founded Museo de Arte de Ponce in 1959.

By 1965, Luis A. Ferré’s once modest museum outgrew its original colonial house in central Ponce. Ferré commissioned Edward Durell Stone, a former pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright and architect of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to design a permanent home for the collection, which received the American Institute of Architecture’s Medal of Honor in 1967.

The masterpieces of the Ponce collection offer exceptional variety and transcend time in their beauty. Working on every scale and through various modes of expression, the artists in this exhibition found inspiration in classical mythology, ancient Greek and Roman history, the Bible and even fleeting moments from everyday life. Through these paintings, the visitor is able to follow the major trends in European art from the Renaissance to the Modern era.

An audio tour for Masterpieces of European Painting from Museo de Arte de Ponce is available at visitor and member services for the duration of this exhibition.

This exhibition was organized by Museo de Arte de Ponce, The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc., Ponce, Puerto Rico.

2010 Platinum Sponsor: The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family Of Hospitals

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission.


Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features more than 30 interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Starting Jan. 2, 2010, Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings, 5–9 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling (615) 744-3247.The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sundays, 1–5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Café opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling (615) 244-3340 or by visiting our Web site at

Please consider supporting the Frist Art Museum with a donation. Your gift is essential to our mission of serving the community through the arts and art access in particular. We truly appreciate your generosity.