The first thing which impressed me about the Frist is the building. I love Art Deco architecture and style. This building is beautiful and the people who designed the change over from a large functioning post office to a museum did a fantastic job. From retaining the original wood floors of the mail sorting rooms (2x4’s placed on their ends up for I assume durability and maybe cushion for the workers - photo below) in the galleries to making all modern improvements match the original building.
The location is great too. As it was we stayed next door at the Station Hotel which was originally the Louisville and Nashville Railroad’s passenger station. The station is also beautiful and the buildings compliment each other nicely. This might sound weird but I could almost feel the activity that went on here during the height of the rail passenger era in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
The featured current exhibition at the Frist was Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Like most people I always appreciate seeing Kahlo’s work and respect how important Mexican Modernism is to history of art. Others can speak to it better than I can so I will refer you to their statement about the exhibition, but I would like to say the curators at the Frisk did a wonderful job with their curation and presentation. I loved that they painted a room blue to highlight the work related to Frida’s “Blue House”. I also enjoyed all the photographs documenting their lives. I had no idea their were so many photographs of her ill and of her death. The exhibition closes September 2, if you are in the Nashville area it is worth taking the time to see it.
The exhibition “Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s” is ongoing until Spetember 29th. I really liked this exhibition and thought the connection between the works and what was going on in the world when these works were being created was fascinating. Makes total sense, just with my focus its something I had never thought deeply about it. Always good to learn and expand one’s mind. Another very well curated exhibition. I especially liked the timelines they added to the gallery wall, it really made the concepts easy to grasp.
I want to end by talking more about the Frist Museum itself. Here is their Vision and Mission statements:
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.
Simple and concise, and something they definitely achieve. I have come across too many artist and art related statements in my time that are either too grandiose or overstate the obvious. These statements nail it. The people who work, or volunteer, at the Frith are friendly and proud of their museum. The children’s interactive art area may very be the best I have seen in any Museum. I also love the fact they dedicated a downstairs hallway to be a community gallery. Local residents can share their creations and the space appears to also allow dialogue on current issues related to the city and the region.
I was impressed by the Frith and as well Nashville. I will get back there again and would love to get my work in the Frist one day.