Skip to Content
Parks and Recreation
metro parks logo

The Parthenon

Parthenon at Dusk

The Parthenon stands proudly as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, Nashville's premier urban park. The re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece. The building and the Athena statue are both full-scale replicas of the Athenian originals.

Originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.

The Parthenon also serves as the city of Nashville's art museum. The focus of the Parthenon's permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits.

We hope you will read our detailed timeline of the history of the Nashville Parthenon.


Katherine Ace: GRIMMS’ TALES

January 23-May 15, 2016

Katherine Ace (b. 1953-) began painting at ten and by the time she was fourteen she had a small studio in the basement of her home and had begun to paint daily. After graduating college in 1975 she began working her way across the country. Over the next fifteen years she had eight different jobs and she lived a variety of places: on three US coasts, two mountain ranges, in the remote country and urban city. Finally, she settled in Portland, OR in 1990 and set up a permanent art studio.

The work for the Parthenon exhibit are inspired by Grimms' Fairy tales. Just like Greek myths, these European stories followed an oral tradition until German brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm began collecting and recording them. The first edition was published in 1812. By the seventh edition in 1857 there would be some 200 stories. Those stories reflect the violence, injustice and taboo subjects of the times as well.

Ace, paints large narrative pictures that are full of symbols and surprises. She embeds items in her paints like: safety pins, gold chains, figurines, butterfly wings, zippers and much more. In the attached picture, Hansel & Gretel, Ace used actual cake decorators to apply the frosting on the sweets covering the table.

This exhibit will remain up through May 26, 2016.

Admission Type Cost
Members Free
Adults $6.00
Children (4-17) $4.00
Seniors (over 62) $4.00

*For Group rates, call 615-862-8431 or email
*All credit and debit card transactions carry a 2.30% convenience fee.

Metro Parks Participants Code of Conduct

Planning an Event?

Nashville’s Parthenon is a wonderful setting for your next event. From the soaring columns and art galleries, to the majestic statue of Athena, this is the event your guests will rave about for years to come.  If you have questions or would like to schedule a site visit, please feel free to contact us at the Parthenon 615-862-8431 Ext 233. or email


On Saturday, May 28th, from 3:30-4:30, there will be limited access to the statue of Athena.

Contact Us

The Parthenon
2500 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
615-880-2265 (fax)


Current Operating Hours:

Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00am-4:30pm
Sundays 12:30 -4:30 pm

Closed Monday

Call 615-862-8431 for more information.