Founded in 1866 to educate newly freed slaves, Fisk University (www.fisk.edu ) has a long and proud history as one of the United States’ foremost black colleges. W. E. B. Du Bois attended Fisk, graduating in 1888, and Booker T. Washington married a Fisk alumna and sent his own children to Fisk. In more modern times, Knoxville native and poet Nikki Giovanni attended Fisk.
Fisk sits at the corner of Jefferson Street and Dr. D. B. Todd Jr. Boulevard, about 10 blocks west of downtown Nashville . The campus is a smattering of elegant redbrick buildings set on open green lawns, although a few more modern buildings, including the library, detract from the classical feel.
Several storied buildings are found on the Fisk campus including Jubilee Hall  and the Carl Van Vechten Gallery . Another notable building is the Fisk Little Theatre, a white clapboard building that once served as Union hospital during the Civil War.
The Aaron Douglas Gallery (Jackson St. and 17th Ave. N., Tues.–Fri. 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat. 1–4 p.m., Sun. 2–4 p.m., free) houses Fisk’s collection of African, African-American, and folk art works. It also hosts visiting exhibits, and others by Fisk students and faculty. It is named after painter and illustrator Aaron Douglas, who also established Fisk’s first formal art department. The gallery is located on the top floor of the Fisk library.
Fisk welcomes visitors, but there is no central information desk or printed guide. A map is posted just inside the library, and this is the best place to go to start your visit. Historical markers provide details of each of the main campus buildings. To see the famous painting of the Jubilee Singers, enter Jubilee Hall and bear right to the Appleton Room, where it hangs at the rear.