An old jewel is being polished in middle Tennessee and is quickly becoming the toast of Sumner County. Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) is located in the beautiful historic mansion on Gallatin Road in Hendersonville. Formerly Hendersonville Arts Council, it is being transformed into a magnificent art gallery and museum, and the reviews are tremendous.
Monthaven was originally part of 640 acres granted to Henry Rule for service in the Revolutionary War. Built in the early 1800s and used as a Civil War field hospital, the mansion was named Liberty Hall when LB Fite took up residence after the war. In 1936, it was bought by Nashville businessman Mont Bliss Comer, becoming his “getaway” and quickly coined “Monts Haven.” After Mont’s death, his family remained in the mansion and sold it in the late 1980s to a development company who deeded the mansion to the city of Hendersonville to be used for the arts.
In April 2017, with a new vision and re-branding on the horizon, Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center had a goal. “Our mission is to present special exhibits of regional, national and international artists and to be committed to growing our arts education programs,” says Cheryl Strichik, Chief Curator and Director of External Affairs. “We also think it is important to our citizens to focus and nurture the rich history and heritage of Monthaven.”
Moving through the galleries you can see the tremendous work being done to bring the MACC up to par and to host top of the line art exhibits gracing the walls since the re-branding began. If forward movement is a factor in success, then the MACC is on the fast track to be one of middle Tennessee’s premier gallery and museum destinations. On the agenda is a history and archives gallery and gift shop upstairs. Negotiations are underway to procure the adjacent land equaling about twenty-three acres for a proposed Arts Education Building, Performing Arts Center, US Pest’s Bees, Bugs & Butterflies Academy, Liberty Hall (a free-standing gallery dedicated to our American veteran artists) and an amphitheater.
Since April of this year, the MACC has hosted renowned photographer Nancy Lee Andrews, international artist Paul Harmon, and the current exhibit of Autumn de Forest who has sold over seven million dollars in paintings and is in the permanent collection at the Vatican. She is only fifteen years old! The local children enjoyed a series of Master Classes at Monthaven by Autumn during her weekend opening. Closing the year will be the opening of “Pray to Love” on November 5th, a twenty-year visual feast of the pilgrimage of photographer and artist Anne Goetze, as she captured her aunt at the Montestere de la Visitation, a 400-year-old order of Nuns. Joining her is Mary Ferris Kelly, whose art is in the permanent collection of the Whitney and Cheekwood museums. Her angels and oil paintings of monumental beauty wrap up the 2017 year and will leave you filled with a desire for things to come in 2018!
Join Monthaven for “Starry Starry Night” on September 23rd for a fall outdoor music event featuring “Sean of the South,” author and performer. Also mark your calendar for “Ageless Style Vintage Fashion Show” on December 16th, where some of the most intriguing fashionistas will take the runway in the halls of Monthaven.
Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center
1017 Antebellum Circle
Hendersonville, TN 37075