the frist center in downtown nashville is the city’s premier art museum.  it has only been open for about ten years but has the personality of a much older establishment.  the art deco building is beautiful both inside and out.  however, the major appeal for me was the exhibit of gee’s bend quilts.  i have never seen these in person but have wanted to for years.  they are beautiful in so many ways – their history, functionality, how each quilt is a ‘memory text’ of that person’s life and family, the incredibly gorgeous abstract beauty of the colors and patterns… i was not supposed to photograph in the galleries but managed to walk away with one quick image.  if you’re ever able to see these (any of them – as the quilts have been made over decades and many different ones circulate), would highly recommend.  another favorite aspect of this museum is the interactive arts space for kids – i’ve seen a number of attempts to do this well and they usually are just messy, insufficiently supplied and understaffed areas.  this one , however, was run extremely well and my two younger kids enjoyed very much.