Frist Center Announces New Name and Visual Brand Identity

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts announced that it has changed its name to the Frist Art Museum and introduced a new visual brand identity. The change became legally effective on April 1, 2018. To celebrate the occasion and the institution’s 17th birthday, the Frist Art Museum will offer free admission on April 8, 2018.

As Nashville continues to grow and its reputation as a travel destination strengthens, the decision to alter the name was made to clarify what the art institution offers. “Our new name clearly communicates what we are: Nashville’s art museum and a cultural anchor in the community,” said Frist Art Museum Executive Director Dr. Susan H. Edwards. “Our mission and vision are not changing, and our commitment to the community, education, and fellowship is the same. We are still ‘The Frist,’ and to many, we are already thought of as the Frist Art Museum.”

Since 2001, the Frist has originated and brought to Nashville exhibitions of the highest quality, and it will continue to borrow from other museums, collectors, and artists from the U.S. and around the world, instead of building a collection of its own.

The new visual brand and logo were created by Pentagram, an internationally renowned company widely known for work with cultural institutions, including the Minneapolis Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and many local, regional, and national cultural nonprofits.

Frist Art Museum staff, board, and volunteers worked with Pentagram to develop an inviting, contemporary mark that fits the timeless appeal of the 1934 historic post office building that houses the Museum. The new name and aesthetic are also meant to convey a sense of inclusiveness that matches the museum’s mission to show the art of the world—all time periods, all cultures, and all mediums. “We wanted our new look to be approachable, relevant, and respectful of our architectural heritage,” says Frist Art Museum Director of Internal Affairs Hans Schmitt-Matzen, who leads the graphic and exhibition design department. “The swervy S in Frist is a stylistic nod to the art deco design motif seen throughout our building. We are using the familiar architectural element from our historic building to connect past, present, and future.”

Exterior title signage with the new name will be installed on the Broadway and Demonbreun Street sides of the building later this spring.

Throughout the rest of 2018, visitors will see additional upgrades at the Frist:
Martin ArtQuest Gallery Renovation: The Martin ArtQuest Gallery (MAQ), the museum’s hands-on art-making space that serves as a premier destination for families, children, and school groups to explore art, has been under renovation since late January 2018. The updated gallery will feature enhanced activities focused on creative collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. The grand reopening is scheduled for May 24 and will include a ribbon-cutting event with Ellen H. Martin and her family, along with performances and activities in the auditorium and throughout the building. Admission will be free to the public from 3 to 9 p.m.

Frist Fridays: Based on positive feedback about the added value of art-related programs offered during Frist Fridays 2017, this year the Museum is further strengthening the link between live performances and its current exhibitions. Frist Fridays will now be held throughout the year instead of consecutive summer months, starting with live musical performances and artist-led experiences on July 27, inspired by Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century and The Presence of Your Absence Is Everywhere: Afruz Amighi. The next Frist Friday will be in the fall, during Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.

Current Exhibitions

Nick Cave: Feat.
Through June 24, 2018
Upper-Level Galleries
Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (b. 1959) is best known for his elaborate “soundsuits,” human-shaped sculptural forms composed of a wide variety of found and repurposed commonplace materials. This dynamic exhibition includes a selection of soundsuits, as well as a projected video, several wall-mounted sculptures, and a large multimedia installation. The works are accessible to audiences of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, and on a deeper level speak to issues of racial and social justice and the need for more time and space in contemporary society to cultivate individual dreams and aspirations.
Organized by the Frist Art Museum

Rome: City and Empire
Through May 28, 2018
Ingram Gallery

The stories of Rome and its vast empire continue to captivate and intrigue people almost three thousand years after its foundation. Rome: City and Empire brings to Nashville more than two hundred of the British Museum’s most engaging and beautiful Roman objects. They tell the dramatic story of how Rome grew from a cluster of small villages into a mighty empire.
The British Museum’s exceptionally broad collections have enabled the creation of a truly inspiring experience. Visitors can explore how the empire was won and held and learn about the rich diversity of her peoples. The exhibition is an accessible introduction to the Roman imperial period, yet also provides a range and depth of material for those with an existing interest in Roman history.

The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Frist Art Museum. The Frist is the exclusive North American venue.

Slavery, the Prison Industrial Complex: Photographs by Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick
Through May 28, 2018

Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

New Orleans natives Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick have been documenting African American life in Louisiana for more than 30 years. Since 1980, they have made regular visits to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola to photograph life on the prison farm, which was founded on the consolidated land of several cotton and sugarcane plantations. Their poignant black-and-white images record the exploitation of the men incarcerated within the maximum-security prison farm while also showcasing the prisoners’ humanity and individual narratives. The husband-and-wife team’s work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale. Calhoun and McCormick use their cameras as tools for social engagement, reminding their audiences of persistent racial inequities, especially throughout the American criminal justice system.

The Frist has produced a hardcover book titled Louisiana Medley about the couple’s work. Published by Lucia∣Marquand, the book includes 70 plates; a foreword by Dr. Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; a career overview by Frist Art Museum executive director and photography historian Dr. Susan H. Edwards; and an essay by Dr. Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, Harvard Art Museums, that places the images of Slavery, the Prison Industrial Complex in the context of other prison photographs.

Organized by the Frist Art Museum

We Shall Overcome: Civil Rights and the Nashville Press, 1957–1968
Through October 14, 2018
Conte Community Arts Gallery
Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination—at a time when race relations and human rights are again at the forefront of our country’s political and social consciousness—the Frist presents a selection of approximately 50 photographs that document an important period in Nashville’s struggle for racial equality. The images were taken between 1957, the year that desegregation began in public schools, and 1968, when Dr. King was killed in Memphis. Of central significance are photographs of lunch counter sit-ins that took place in early 1960 led by a group of students—including John Lewis and Diane Nash—from local historically black colleges and universities. The role that Nashville played in the national civil rights movement as a hub for training students in nonviolent protest and as the first southern city to integrate places of business peacefully is a story that warrants reexamination and introduction to younger generations and newcomers to the region. The exhibition also provides opportunities to consider the role of images and the media in shaping public opinion—a relevant subject in today’s news-saturated climate.

Organized by the Frist Art Museum
Sponsor Acknowledgment
The Frist Art Museum is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Frist Art Museum
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Frist Art Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art exhibition center dedicated to presenting and originating high-quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach activities. Located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., the Frist Art Museum offers the finest visual art from local, regional, national, and international sources in exhibitions that inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways. The Frist Art Museum’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Art Museum exhibitions. Information on accessibility can be found at Gallery admission is free for visitors 18 and younger and for members; $12 for adults; $9 for seniors and college students with ID; and $7 for active military. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5:00–9:00 p.m. Groups of 10 or more can receive discounts with advance reservations by calling 615.744.3247. The galleries, café, and gift shop are open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 1:00–5:30 p.m., with the café opening at noon.

For additional information, call 615.244.3340 or visit

Frist Art Museum New Logo