May 26, 2020

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Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
1200 Forrest Park D
Nashville, Tennessee 37205
Official Web Site
Hours of Operation - 9:30 am–4:30 pm
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art Photo

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art Photo

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art Photo

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art Photo

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art Photo
Museum Description
Cheekwood is a privately funded 55-acre (220,000 m2) estate on the western edge of Nashville, Tennessee that houses the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. Formerly the residence of Nashville's Cheek family, the 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) Georgian-style mansion was opened as a museum in 1960. The house that coffee built Christopher Cheek founded a wholesale grocery business in Nashville in the 1880s. His son, Leslie Cheek, joined him as a partner, and by 1915 was president of the family-owned company. Leslie's wife, Mabel Wood, was a member of a prominent Clarksville family. Meanwhile, Joel Cheek, Leslie's cousin, had developed an acclaimed blend of coffee that was marketed through Nashville's finest hotel, the Maxwell House Hotel. Legend has it that Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the blend "Good to the last drop," which is still a registered trademark for the product. Cheek's extended family, including Leslie and Mabel Cheek, were investors. In 1928, the Postum Cereals Company (now General Foods) purchased Maxwell House's parent company, Cheek-Neal Coffee, for more than $40 million. With their income secured by the proceeds from the sale, Leslie Cheek bought 100 acres (0.40 km2) of what was then woodland in West Nashville for a country estate. He hired New York residential and landscape architect, Bryant Fleming, and gave him control over every detail - from landscaping to interior furnishings. The result was a limestone mansion and extensive formal gardens inspired by the grand English manors of the 18th century. Fleming's masterpiece, Cheekwood, was completed in 1932. Leslie Cheek died 2 years after moving into the mansion and Mabel Cheek and their daughter, Huldah Cheek Sharp, lived at Cheekwood until the 1950s when it was offered as a site for a botanical garden and art museum. The development of the property was spearheaded by the Exchange Club of Nashville, the Horticultural Society of Middle Tennessee and many other civic groups. The Nashville Museum of Art donated its permanent collections and proceeds from the sale of its building to the effort. The new Cheekwood museum opened to the public in 1960.


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