Lavish cream and green marble floors and wall paneling, high ceilings with and cast iron doors surround guests with the art deco charm of the Nashville’s original post office completed in 1934. The historically significant building kept its original charm through a public/private partnership-driven revamp into the non-profit Frist Center for Visual Arts in 2001. The space now holds art exhibitions, interactive art workshops as well as a gift shop and café.
The Frist Center is a different kind of museum that does not have permanent collections. Instead, it sources a host of themed exhibits that roll through every six to eight weeks. Traveling national and international shows including classical pieces by Michelangelo and Monet have hung on Frist walls, as have collections of American folk art, modern photography, European classical works from the age of exploration and even an exhibit deconstructing Italian sports car design. The building’s 24,000 square feet of gallery space includes 30 interactive stations on the upper level for kids and families to get creative and make their own stop motion animation, printmaking, watercolor painting, etching, sculpture creation and more—some of these stations also rotate to match visiting exhibits. In the summer, Frist Fridays bring bands—also often tied to exhibit themes—to jam at the museum, and live music features year-round on Thursdays and Fridays in the Grand Lobby or café. Be sure to check what’s on before stopping by—it’s a new experience every time.
The Frist Center (919 Broadway) keeps daily hours from 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. Sunday, closing most days at 5:30 p.m. with the exceptions of Thursdays and Fridays when it remains open until 9 p.m. Adult admission is $12, college students and seniors are $9, active military are $7 and all children under 18 are free. An audio tour for iPod is available for an additional $3; photography is not permitted in the gallery space. Informal guided tours run most weekdays at 1:30 p.m. from the Information Desk and architectural tours of the historic building run on Saturdays. Frist Center parking lots offer validation discounts for Frist Center visitors.