The history of Cheekwood, the property that now houses the Cheekwood Museum, can be traced back to the late 19th century, when the Cheek family of West Nashville was developing what would become the Maxwell House coffee company (then the Cheek-Neal company). In 1928 the family sold their business and with the proceeds bought 100 acres of woodland in West Nashville, hiring New York landscape architect Bryant Fleming to design a manor and the surrounding area. Cheekwood remained in the family into the 1950s, when it was donated to the community to be developed into an art museum and botanical garden. The Nashville Museum of Art donated its permanent collection as well as the proceeds from the sale of its building to the effort, in addition to aid from many local civic groups.
The permanent collection at the Cheekwood features American and contemporary painting and sculpture and English and American decorative arts. Visiting exhibitions are featured regularly, rotating several times annually. The grounds include a variety of botanical gardens focused on various types of plant life, including a floral color garden, herb study garden, and dogwood garden, in addition to a traditional Japanese shomu-en, or ‘pine mist’ garden. The Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail allows visitors to experience a number of different habitats, with contemporary sculpture (designed for exhibition in natural settings) placed throughout. Additionally, Cheekwood’s education department offers a full schedule of classes in horticulture and the visual arts for people of all ages.
Cheekwood Museum of Art Information
- Public Transportation: Poor
- Handicapped Accessibility: Fair. The property has hills and uneven footing, and there are several areas where wheelchairs and strollers are not accessible. Click here for a map outlining all accessible areas
- Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed Mondays (except Memorial Day and Labor Day), Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
- Admission: $12 Adults; $10 Seniors (65+); $5 College Students (w/ID) and Youth (3–17); Free for Children (under 3) and members; 50% discount for military
- Tours: Docent-led tours available Tuesday–Friday upon request; reservations required with two weeks minimum advance notice; Tour available free of charge for school groups (including children, teachers and one adult per 10 students)
- Membership: Individual membership is $55 ($75 Families; $60 Educator Families; $50 Seniors; $35 Educators; $30 Students;). Additional memberships include Supporting ($135); Pineapple ($300); and Boxwood ($600). Member benefits are tiered with every member receiving free admission; reciprocal membership to over 200 botanical gardens and conservatories nationwide, and 60 museums in the Southeast; invitations to Member-Only events and exhibition previews; a 25% discount and priority registration for classes, workshops, and children’s camp programs; discounts on Lunch & Lecture (3rd Thursday of every month) Family and children activities each Tuesday (September – May) and Saturday morning; a 10% discount at the Gift Shop and advance notification of sales throughout the year; 2 single-visit guest passes; a subscription to Inspire, the quarterly member’s magazine; and opportunities to volunteer.