Frist Art Museum Remembers 2010 Flood With Photo Exhibit

Nashville Flood
Courtesy of The Tennessean. Photo: Larry McCormack

On Saturday, May 1, and Sunday, May 2, 2010, a record-breaking rainfall of over thirteen inches caused major flooding throughout Middle Tennessee. The Cumberland River crested almost twelve feet above flood stage, and smaller waterways such as Browns Creek, Mill Creek, Richland Creek, Whites Creek, and the Harpeth River also flooded, wreaking havoc across the city. Thousands of homes and businesses, including the Grand Ole Opry, the Opryland Hotel, and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, were damaged or destroyed. Twenty-six people in the region died—eleven in Nashville.

This exhibition features photographs and excerpts of oral histories from ten different neighborhoods—including Antioch, Belle Meade, Bellevue, Bordeaux, and others, in addition to downtown—to present a broad picture of both the destruction and the relief efforts. Parts of the story may be unfamiliar to Nashville newcomers, while some residents who were here in 2010 may have been too preoccupied with their own situations to follow what was happening in other areas.

The items in this exhibition come largely from the Nashville Public Library’s extensive flood archive and The Tennessean newspaper. An interactive monitor illustrates the long-term impact of the flood by pairing photographs from 2010 with ones from 2020. In downtown Nashville, the recovery marked the beginning of a rapid construction boom that has transformed the city’s skyline. In some areas, though, less progress is evident, signifying inequities in rebuilding. Many people, however, recall the heroic rescue efforts and the spirit of volunteerism from this event, which forever changed Music City.

Share Your Story about the 2010 Flood
Nashville Public Library Special Collections is recording oral histories of the 2010 Nashville Flood on January 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sign-ups will take place on these days on the Frist’s Upper Level. You can also share your stories @FristArtMuseum  #NashFlood.

Offers for you

Support our publication by shopping here

Soltea
Improve Your Heart Health with All-Natural Soltea Daily Supplement – Click Now to Save 25% Off Your First Order
All-Natural Heart Health Supplement – Save 25% Now
CodeMonkey
Coding for kids! Introducing programming games for the next generation. Get your kids coding today.
Start with a free trial.
Truebill
Lower your bills and stay on top of your financial life with Truebil, the app that helps you save every day.
Take control & start saving money!
Brigit
Know your spending habits, anticipate overdrafts, and get up to $250. Only takes 2 minutes. No credit check.
Get your finances on track.
Grow Credit
Grow Credit is a free Mastercard you can use to pay your subscriptions while you build credit.
Start building your credit today!
Gabi
The easiest way to compare and save on home and auto insurance. Match coverage, compare rates and save.
Find hundreds in savings now!
Tally
Overcome your credit card debt with Tally. Consolidate and save money while you pay it down.
Get started with Tally today.
Acorns
Acorns helps you grow your money. Take control with all-in-one investment, retirement, checking and more.
Get a $5 bonus when you sign up.