National Society of Colonial Dames of
America in Tennessee

Vanderbilt Collection - Kirkland Hall

Bishop Holland Nimmons McTyeire
1824 - 1889
Artist:Hergesheimer, Ella Sophonisba
Date Created:1907
Owner/Location:Vanderbilt University
Frame Dimensions:
Image Dimensions:69" x 44"
Materials/Media:oil on canvas

Description:Life-sized portrait of Bishop McTyeire, dressed in clerical street suit, in front of pulled drapery revealing landscape in background.
History of Work:This portrait by Miss Hergesheimer was commissioned by the University in 1907 to replace the Jared Flagg portrait of the Bishop, which was lost in the fire destroying University Hall in 1905. This portrait hangs in Kirkland Hall. McTyeire Hall, the first women's dormitory constructed on Vanderbilt's campus (1940), is named in memory of Bishop and Mrs. McTyeire.
Notes: Born in South Carolina, Holland McTyeire was educated at Randolph–Macon College (Virginia) graduating in 1844. He began his ministry in Alabama soon after graduation and married Amelia Townsend of Mobile, AL in 1847. Having been elected editor of the Nashville Christian Advocate, the principal publication of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, McTyeire moved his family to Tennessee in 1858. As Federal forces invaded the city in 1862, the McTyeires fled to a remote area in rural Alabama. Following his election as a bishop of the church in 1866, McTyeire returned to Nashville with his family.

It was in 1873 that McTyeire made the fateful trip to New York City for medical treatment, recuperating in the home of his wife’s cousin, Frank Armstrong Crawford Vanderbilt and her husband, Cornelius. A cordial acquaintance ensued leading to the founding gift on March 17, 1873 making a Methodist university in Nashville a reality. Such a university had long been planned by the church, but lack of sufficient funds had prevented its founding. With that gift and the stipulation that he serve as president of the Board of Trust, McTyeire purchased the land, hired an architect, oversaw the construction of this and other buildings, planted trees, and began to assemble a faculty. Vanderbilt opened its doors to 307 aspiring young male scholars on October 3, 1875.