Frist Center receives accreditation by American Association of Museums

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts has been certified as an accredited museum by the American Association of Museums (AAM). This accreditation, a widely recognized seal of approval that brings national recognition to American museums, marks the Frist Center’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.

To qualify for accreditation, the Frist Center has undergone a year-long process of self-assessment, which included review of its mission and planning, public trust and accountability, leadership, education and outreach, and the creation of a five-year strategic plan. In addition, peers from AAM-accredited museums conducted a site visit at the Frist Center.  

“It is an incredible achievement for the Frist Center to have received accreditation from the American Association of Museums in fewer than ten years,” said Frist Center Executive Director Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D. “The accreditation process prompted us to intensify our strategic planning initiative that involved the staff, the Board, our volunteers and key members of the community. With a five-year plan in hand we began a rigorous self-study assessing the professionalism of all internal procedures as well as an analysis of our commitment to education, outreach and accessibility. The process is designed to assure compliance with international standards for excellence in the field. We were ably assisted in this endeavor because of the high standards set initially by our founders.”

Since 1906 the AAM has brought museums together, helping to develop standards, gathering and sharing knowledge and providing advocacy to the museum community. The AAM is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future.

The AAM’s accreditation process is administered by museum professionals from institutions across the country. The standards against which accreditation candidates are measured reflect, reinforce and promote best practices, institutional ethics and the highest standards of museum operations.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, which opened April 8, 2001, is a public/private partnership that involves public engagement and private philanthropy. The creation of the Frist Center was the result of a community visioning process that articulated the desire for a world-class art institution in Middle Tennessee. Dr. Thomas Fr. Frist, Jr., and The Frist Foundation’s President Kenneth L. Roberts guided the efforts to create the institution.

The Frist Center’s historic building, Nashville’s former main post office, was purchased by the city’s Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency for the purpose of housing the new art institution. The Frist Foundation and the Frist family committed additional funds to support the institution and to provide the seeds of an institution’s endowment.

The mission of the Frist Center is to present and originate high quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach activities. The Frist Center’s commitments to education and community outreach are founding tenets of the institution.  

Since opening, the Frist Center has presented an array of exhibitions from institutions as varied as Tate, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Phillips Collection, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. In 2006, the Frist Center was one of the venues that hosted The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt, an exhibition that drew more than 180,000 visitors.

The Frist Center has organized exhibitions of particular local and regional interest, including The Art of Tennessee; Real Illusions: Contemporary Art from Nashville Collections; Suspended Animation: The Art of Marilyn Murphy; Manuel: Star-Spangled Couture; and The Fragile Species: New Art Nashville. Upcoming exhibitions now being organized by Frist Center curators include The City in Twilight: Surrealism and Paris, 1924–1939 and Vishnu: India’s Blue Skinned Savior.

On Jan. 18, Frist Center will open Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist, followed Feb. 15, by the opening of From Monet to Dalí: Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, 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 over 30 interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions.

Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and under and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $8.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and military and $6.50 for college students with ID. Thursday evenings, 5–9 p.m., admission is free for college students with a valid college ID.

Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling 615.744.3246. 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.

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