Restoring the Work of an American Master

Museums tell stories. They share the stories of people, of events, of the past.

They also house objects. Objects of value, of beauty and significance. Objects which can help us connect to the past, and the people who created them.

Thus it was Belmont Mansion’s great fortune when one of the objects of this story returned to the mansion

this past fall. This piece of furniture, created by the

New York based master furniture maker 

Joseph Meeks & Sons, was and is now

a sought-after design. It had resided in the Acklen family since its days at Belmont Mansion and through the family it returned to its first home.

Today, it needs restoration. This fine example from a leading furniture manufactor of the mid-19th century is an object of beauty which teaches us about the development

of the American furniture industry and craftsmanship.

With the help of technology, furniture

making moved from creation by an

individual to manufacturing at the hands of numerous craftsmen working for a single company surprisingly quickly. Especially when the company had at its center

a talented artisan with the business acumen to recognize

a market for his creations.

Such is the case with this ca. 1855 dressing table by the Joseph Meeks & Sons (1797-1869) Manufactory.

The Meeks family produced fine furniture

as ordered using patterns and templates. Then

highly skilled craftsmen finished the pieces

with elaborate hand carving. In the early days of the

American business economy this furniture maker's wares permeated the country with objects of

artisanal value made accessible through progressive business practices.

Please help us restore this link to American history and share it with visitors and students of the past alike.

Big Payback-2020-Horizontal Logo.jpg

Elopement Packages at Belmont Mansion

Intimate and elegant wedding ceremonies are popular at Belmont Mansion! 


Visit to review options to Elope in Nashville at Belmont Mansion. 

Affordable Nashville Elopements start here!


Belmont Blvd & Acklen Avenue 

Nashville, TN 37212


1900 Belmont Blvd

Nashville, TN 37212


  • Facebook Clean
  • Twitter Clean
  • Instagram Clean
  • White Pinterest Icon

The architecture of Belmont Mansion makes it one of the most significant homes of 19th century Tennessee.

Sold by the Acklen family in 1887, the house went to a developer who began one of Nashville’s early suburbs.

It was then purchased by two women who in 1890 started a college which evolved into Belmont University. Today the Belmont Mansion Association, which was formed in 1972, owns the collection, runs the museum, and shares this unique story of 19th century Nashville with visitors from far and near.

Photos by Ed Houk