At Rare Prints Gallery, we curate artifacts like vintage prints and original maps, including limited edition and handmade prints dating back to the 15th century. Our building is situated in the cozy and historic retail district on Main Street in downtown Franklin, TN. As a travel destination and being so close to Music City (Nashville), we regularly welcome guests from around the world and encourage you to make a pilgrimage to visit us too. Make sure your vacation packages include stops and overnight stays in or near Franklin. You might even try a Franklin Airbnb!

Our gallery is unique for two key reasons:

1.) We are one of the few remaining galleries in the United States that offers rare prints in a traditional brick and mortar location;

2.) We are situated in the heart of a community that is committed to historic preservation. So, we are preserving history in a building that is also historically preserved.

We are also working diligently to upload the inventory on our new website with e-commerce. But we are proud to call Franklin home to our official gallery and remain part of a thriving and vibrant community.

Our collection of artifacts includes a wide variety of truly limited-edition prints. For example, we have an original printed map of France from 1592, handmade prints from shortly after the first printing press was developed, as well as many classics from John J. Audubon.

We are educators of history and preservation, printing presses and coloring methods, ancient maps, and even local history. We offer an array of services, including custom framing, reproductions, corporate leasing, shipping, and much more.

Meet our Gallery Director: Mel Ferrer

Memphis, TN native Mel Ferrer was born into the joys of traditional southern beauty deeply rooted in literary and visual arts. His observation and exploration of various media led him to develop an artistic skill-set and portfolio worthy of a scholarship to the Memphis College of Art. While there, Mel earned a BFA in Graphic Arts and Illustration.

After marrying his college sweetheart, the couple moved to Minneapolis, MN to start their own graphic design business. While living and working in the Twin Cities, Mel became a docent at the renowned contemporary art museum, Walker Art Center. There he studied and presented to groups of all ages. For the last decade, Mel has rekindled a love for portrait painting as well as creating a line of contemporary cremation urns.

Mel has been immersed in the world of fine art, preservation, and custom framing for more than 30 years. His knowledge and passion for art and various print mediums led him to become a lifelong collector of art with an emphasis on printed works, including rare prints.

Mel adds, “The printed page allowed the masses in Renaissance times to own, not only affordable works of knowledge but also works of art, as are all Rare Prints Gallery pieces. How fantastic it is to own a beautiful piece of history that will be a cherished heirloom to be viewed and enjoyed for future generations!”

Returning to his roots in Tennessee, Mel and his wife now live very nearby in Spring Hill with their young son where he continues to create his artwork and share his passion for the arts. He loves teaching guests from around the world about our collection and can tell you about the best places to eat and visit in the area.

Staff Translator: Charles Huffman

Many of our prints and maps have foreign languages, including variations that are no longer in use. Our staff translator Charles Huffman is a polyglot with a natural aptitude for skillfully comprehending, synthesizing, and applying foreign language characters and grammatical structures. He is passionate about world history, cultures, and geography for a comprehensive understanding of language concepts and applications.

So, what does that mean for you? Our inventory is filled with prints in several languages, many of which are outdated or no longer in use. If we have a print or map that requires translation, we send it to Charles who can often immediately supply us with a modern interpretation. Charles is skilled at the following levels:

MODERATELY PROFICIENT PROFICIENT
Dutch Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Classical Chinese
French Old High German Classical Latin
Homeric Greek Pali/Prakrits German
Hungarian Portuguese Mandarin Chinese
Indonesian Romanian  
Italian Sanskrit  
Middle High German