Tennessee State Museum

Tennessee State Museum The new Tennessee State Museum is now open on the corner of Rosa L. Parks Blvd. and Jefferson Street at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.
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The Power of Story: Interpreting Black History took place last night in the Museum's Digital Learning Center. The paneli...
02/28/2020

The Power of Story: Interpreting Black History took place last night in the Museum's Digital Learning Center. The panelists discussed the interpretation of African American history in public spaces and museums. In the first image, pictured left to right, is Tamar Smithers, director of education programs at National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM); Brigette Jones, curator of social history at the Tennessee State Museum; Lorenzo Washington of Jefferson Street Sound; Marquita Reed, collections manager at NMAAM; and Rachel Helvering, community engagement manager at the Tennessee State Museum. A recording of the presentation is available for viewing at tnmuseum.org/videos.

Check out the Nashville History Corner in the latest issue of The Contributor for a story on our upcoming exhibition, "R...
02/28/2020

Check out the Nashville History Corner in the latest issue of The Contributor for a story on our upcoming exhibition, "Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote." See page 6 for the scoop on the role Tennessee played in the ratification of the 19th Amendment. This issue also explores voter’s rights, civic engagement and how some local organizations are working at bettering both.

We already have women's suffrage merchandise arriving at the Museum Store to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19...
02/27/2020

We already have women's suffrage merchandise arriving at the Museum Store to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Inspired by women's fight for the right to vote, these "Votes for Women" sashes come in a variety of colors, and select designs include glittered lettering. Come get first pick, available now. Stay tuned for more merchandise, and get ready to visit us on March 27 when we open the "Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote" exhibition!

Opening March 27, 2020 at the Tennessee State Museum is "Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote." In this 8,000...
02/27/2020

Opening March 27, 2020 at the Tennessee State Museum is "Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote." In this 8,000 square-foot, two-gallery exhibition, the Museum not only explores the circumstances in and around Nashville in August of 1920 with its historic outcome, but also delves into the story of women’s suffrage throughout the entire state of Tennessee in the decades leading up to the vote. Learn more: https://tnmuseum.org/Stories/posts/ratified

Emma Bell Miles was one of the states earliest noted naturalists and lived on Walden's Ridge in the mountains above Chat...
02/26/2020

Emma Bell Miles was one of the states earliest noted naturalists and lived on Walden's Ridge in the mountains above Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was also a successful painter and author, publishing poems and stories in national magazines such as "Harper’s Monthly." These binoculars from our collection of objects were given to Emma Bell Miles by one of her daughters and were used by her to study birds, leading to her book, "Our Southern Birds." Miles managed to print the title two weeks before she died of tuberculosis in 1919, at the age of 39. #MusNature

DeWitt Jordan (1932-1977) was an African-American artist and native of Nashville, TN. He was born December 1, 1932 and h...
02/26/2020

DeWitt Jordan (1932-1977) was an African-American artist and native of Nashville, TN. He was born December 1, 1932 and his family soon moved to Helena, Arkansas where they ran a funeral home. Later in life, Jordan moved back to the South and began operations in Memphis, TN. His credence for his work has always been: "I try to paint people as they are, the common black people who helped to make America—people who believe in god, go to church, love, cry, work hard, and eventually die, like all other people. The worth of a person is not determined by his color, by where he lives, or how much property he possesses, but by the kind of person he is."

You can see this untitled painting by DeWitt Jordan on display in our Change and Challenge exhibition.

Untitled, painting by Dewitt Jordan, 1973-1974

In Helena, Arkansas, in 1940, eight-year-old Dewitt Jordan began using pencils and colored pastels to create his earliest artworks. His father worked as a farmer, and his mother was occupied with the daily operations of her family’s funeral home.

In the tradition of the regionalism of an earlier generation, his genre scenes showcased agrarian life, along with the politics and policies that defined the struggle of African Americans. Jordan’s artistic talents were widely admired, though some members of the black community—amidst a civil rights movement that was in full swing—were critical of the artist’s stereotypical portrayal of their plight. In 1977, at the age of forty-four, the self-proclaimed “Delta Fox” died as a result of a gunshot wound.

Arkansas Made Object of the Day - Collection of Tennessee State Museum

The deadline for Tennessee State Museum's Young Writers Program has been extended to Monday, March 2. Program sessions w...
02/26/2020
Young Writers

The deadline for Tennessee State Museum's Young Writers Program has been extended to Monday, March 2. Program sessions will include craft-building exercises that will further familiarize participants with Tennessee history and culture by exploring various writing genres. Be sure to visit tnmuseum.org for complete program details and application instructions.

The Young Writers Program (YWP) is a free, integrative, creative writing program developed to inspire a community of young writers interested in exploring and developing their passion. Students will engage in a multi-genre (poetry, fiction, songwriting, etc.) workshop centered on the Museum’s exhi...

Check out this city-wide list of events honoring women’s suffrage and celebrating suffragists’ successful efforts that i...
02/25/2020
Since 1920: How Nashville’s Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Votes

Check out this city-wide list of events honoring women’s suffrage and celebrating suffragists’ successful efforts that impacted future generations of women everywhere, put together by StyleBlueprint Nashville. From Women’s Suffrage Tours at Tennessee State Capitol to Ratified! Opening Weekend Events, the Tennessee State Museum is taking place in recognizing the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment this year.

As we get closer to the official centennial anniversary of the monumental passage of the 19th Amendment, Nashville is doing its part to celebrate. Check out this list of events to get in the spirit of 100 years of women's votes!

Conestoga wagons were made from about 1750 to 1850, ranging in size from small farm wagons to large commercial carriers....
02/24/2020

Conestoga wagons were made from about 1750 to 1850, ranging in size from small farm wagons to large commercial carriers. As early as the 1760s, settlers used Conestoga wagons to relocate from the East to the land that would become Tennessee. For Southeastern Indians already living there, these vehicles symbolized encroachment. Later, wagons accompanied some Southeastern Indians during their forced removal west of the Mississippi River.

A family in Sullivan County used this wagon from our collection to travel to Texas and back around 1860. The wagon boxes were generally painted blue, and the running gear was red. There are vestiges of blue paint evident on this wagon box. See it on permanent display in the Forging a Nation exhibition.

The 2020 Tennessee Poetry Out Loud State Finals, put on by the Tennessee Arts Commission, will be held at the Tennessee ...
02/24/2020
Nashville musician and American Idol contestant, Carly Moffa to perform at Poetry Out Loud 2020 - Tennessee Arts Commission

The 2020 Tennessee Poetry Out Loud State Finals, put on by the Tennessee Arts Commission, will be held at the Tennessee State Museum on Saturday, March 14. The contest begins at 10:00 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Nashville musician and American Idol contestant, Carly Moffa, will perform live at the competition.

From Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education – We are so excited to welcome musician Carly Moffa to the 2020 TN Poetry Out Loud Competition on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at the TN State Museum. Hailing from a small New Jersey town, Carly Moffa’s music is chiseling out of her generation. “Moffa’...

Inspired by Scandinavian modernism, the hand-thrown ceramics by Paper & Clay, based in Memphis, Tennessee, are simple, w...
02/22/2020

Inspired by Scandinavian modernism, the hand-thrown ceramics by Paper & Clay, based in Memphis, Tennessee, are simple, warm, and purposeful. Each piece at the Tennessee State Museum Store is made by hand and glazed with unique, subtle colors. Modern Ring Cones (pictured) are a gorgeous and playful way to store your jewelry. Come shop the selection during the same opening hours as the Museum. Photo courtesy of Paper & Clay.

Tennessee State Museum's cover photo
02/21/2020

Tennessee State Museum's cover photo

The Tennessee state flag flies over a machine gun Bunker at An Loc, Vietnam in this photograph from our collection. The ...
02/21/2020

The Tennessee state flag flies over a machine gun Bunker at An Loc, Vietnam in this photograph from our collection. The photograph was taken in February 1968 just before a night attack that resulted in some American and 19 Viet Cong casualties. The actual flag pictured was also donated to the Tennessee State Museum collection by the veteran owning them. In 1972, a 66-day siege at An Loc would become a major battle of the Vietnam War. Learn more about the roles Tennesseans played in the Vietnam War section of the Tennessee Transforms exhibition.

Mary Laura Philpott welcomes Penguin Random House author Richard Russo for Nashville Public Television's A Word on Words...
02/21/2020
Chances Are… | Richard Russo

Mary Laura Philpott welcomes Penguin Random House author Richard Russo for Nashville Public Television's A Word on Words, a fun and exciting series about books and authors. Russo discusses his book "Chances Are…" and a scene in which a group of male friends watch the Vietnam War draft lottery on TV with anticipation. This episode includes footage of the recently updated Military Branch of the Tennessee State Museum at War Memorial. #KeepReading

Richard Russo discusses his book CHANCES ARE… on NPT’s A WORD ON WORDS.

Radio Greeneville
02/20/2020

Radio Greeneville

A new mobile app is making it easier for Tennesseans to access state government services. "MyTN" is now available for download from the Apple and Android store. Visit MyTN.gov to download to your device by clicking the Apple or Android store icons.

Citizens will be able to access the following services via the mobile app:

*Driver Services: allowing customers to renew or get a duplicate license, renew a handgun carry permit, upgrade the Graduated Driver license and more. Initial application for a Real ID will need to be made in person.

*Hunting and fishing licenses

*Boat registration

*Tennessee Felony Offender Information Lookup

*Child Abuse Referral and Tracking

*Information regarding Pick TN Products including locating farmers markets and local meats, produce, dairy products and more, as well as tourism sites across the state.

*kidcentral tn, a resource for Tennessee families including information on popular parenting topics in education, health, development and family support.

*Information about doing business in Tennessee, such as the state's business climate, workforce and quality of life.

*Information regarding the Tennessee State Museum including exhibits, programs and event schedules.

Additional services will be added to the MyTN mobile app this year.

Happy #LoveYourPetDay! "Pet Rocks" like this one from our collection of objects were marketed as a fad toy in 1975. The ...
02/20/2020

Happy #LoveYourPetDay! "Pet Rocks" like this one from our collection of objects were marketed as a fad toy in 1975. The toys came in a cardboard carrying case with a bed of simulated straw for the rock to lay in. It also came with a booklet of care instructions. This particular rock was owned by a family in DeKalb County, Tennessee. Show us your pets in the comments!

Young writers: the entry deadline for Tennessee State Museum’s Young Writers Program is coming up soon! Get your applica...
02/20/2020
Young Writers

Young writers: the entry deadline for Tennessee State Museum’s Young Writers Program is coming up soon! Get your applications in by Monday, February 24. Don't miss your chance to participate in this free, integrative, creative writing program open to High School sophomores, juniors, and seniors. More information and application instructions can be found at the link below.

The Young Writers Program (YWP) is a free, integrative, creative writing program developed to inspire a community of young writers interested in exploring and developing their passion. Students will engage in a multi-genre (poetry, fiction, songwriting, etc.) workshop centered on the Museum’s exhi...

The Civil Rights display in the Tennessee Transforms exhibition focuses on the struggle of African Americans for equal r...
02/19/2020

The Civil Rights display in the Tennessee Transforms exhibition focuses on the struggle of African Americans for equal rights and social justice in the 1960s. Highlights include sections on the sit-ins in Nashville, the legacies of Tennessee students' role in the movement, and the Memphis sanitation strike. A sign made at Allied Printing of Memphis, carried by civil rights demonstrators, reads "Honor King: End Racism" and is featured in the exhibit. Join us for one of our free Black History Month Tours to learn more about the diverse history and culture of African Americans in Tennessee.

Stay connected with the Tennessee State Museum by signing up for our eNewsletter. Every other week, you'll get updates a...
02/19/2020
Three Stars: Civil Rights Movement | The Power of Story: Interpreting Black History | Paper & Clay Ceramics

Stay connected with the Tennessee State Museum by signing up for our eNewsletter. Every other week, you'll get updates about museum events, exhibitions and educational programs directly to your inbox. You can check out the latest at the link below. Be sure to click "Subscribe" at the bottom of the page, or by visiting tnmuseum.org!

The Tennessee State Museum Biweekly Newsletter Three Stars: The Tennessee State Museum Biweekly Exhibitions | Events | Donate | Visit Exhibition Highlight: Civil Rights Movement Permanent display in Tennessee Transforms exhibition The Civil Rights display in the Tennessee Transforms exhibition focus...

Knoxville native artist Beauford Delaney painted this self portrait from our collection in 1964. Be sure to see "Beaufor...
02/18/2020

Knoxville native artist Beauford Delaney painted this self portrait from our collection in 1964. Be sure to see "Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door" ‪through May 10, 2020 at Knoxville Museum of Art, where this portrait is currently on display. From the Knoxville Museum of Art: "This exhibition of 50+ paintings, works on paper, and unpublished archival material examines the 38-year relationship between painter Beauford Delaney (Knoxville 1901-1979 Paris) and writer James Baldwin (New York 1924-1987 Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France) and the ways their ongoing intellectual exchange shaped one another’s creative output and worldview... (Delaney) overcame poverty, racial discrimination, and mental illness to achieve international renown."

The Tennessee Presidential Trail officially launches today. The trail includes visits to the three presidential homes, t...
02/17/2020

The Tennessee Presidential Trail officially launches today. The trail includes visits to the three presidential homes, the Tennessee State Capitol and the Tennessee State Museum. Visit these sites to see artifacts and learn more about the presidents from the state of Tennessee—Jackson, Johnson, and Polk. Free brochures can be found here at the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee State Capitol. Though we are closed today for Presidents Day, make plans to come see us soon!

The Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee during the Civil War concluded #OnThisDay, February 16, in 1862 with the surrende...
02/16/2020

The Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee during the Civil War concluded #OnThisDay, February 16, in 1862 with the surrender of Confederate forces. The battle lasted nearly a week in the snow and bitter cold. This brass key opened Fort Donelson's powder magazine, which stored all of the explosive gunpowder. Lt. George Martin Saunders commanded the river batteries at the fort, and when the garrison surrendered, Saunders kept the key. He eventually gave the key to his uncle, Aaron V. Brown, who served at Tennessee's governor from 1845 to 1847. Brown's wife then donated the key to the Tennessee Historical Society. You can see it on permanent display in our Civil War and Reconstruction exhibition, along with other artifacts from Fort Donelson.

In addition to Valentine’s Day, today is also recognized as the birthday of Frederick Douglass, born in February of 1818...
02/14/2020

In addition to Valentine’s Day, today is also recognized as the birthday of Frederick Douglass, born in February of 1818. An orator, writer, and a leader of the abolitionist movement in the United States, Douglass was also an early supporter of the Woman Suffrage movement and attended the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. In the North Star, the abolitionist newspaper he started in 1847, he wrote, “In respect to political rights, we hold woman to be justly entitled to all we claim for man. We go farther, and express our conviction that all political rights which it is expedient for man to exercise, it is equally so for women.” Douglass toured Tennessee in May of 1892 and spoke at First Colored Baptist Church in Nashville. From our collection is this engraving by Alexander Hay Ritchie dating to the late 1800s. It shows Douglass at a later stage in his life, likely the period he toured Tennessee.

Happy Valentine's Day! 💕 How about a visit to the Tennessee State Museum? We bet you'll fall in love with our permanent ...
02/14/2020

Happy Valentine's Day! 💕 How about a visit to the Tennessee State Museum? We bet you'll fall in love with our permanent and temporary gallery spaces that showcase the history of our state. Come explore our spectacular new building! Admission is FREE. Plan your visit at tnmuseum.org/plan-your-visit.

Three presidential homes will unite to launch the Tennessee Presidential Trail on President's Day. The Tennessee Preside...
02/14/2020
Presidential homes connected through Tennessee Presidential Trail

Three presidential homes will unite to launch the Tennessee Presidential Trail on President's Day. The Tennessee Presidential Trail will link Andrew Jackson's Hermitage in Nashville, President James K. Polk Home & Museum in Columbia and Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville. Tourism & Marketing Director for Visit Columbia, Kellye Murphy, said she was inspired to create the trail when the Tennessee State Museum opened in Nashville.

"Tennessee has a rich presidential history, and we encourage residents and tourists to take advantage of the many resources available right here in Tennessee to learn more about that history," Tennessee State Museum Executive Director Ashley Howell said. You can also learn about the Tennessee presidents in our permanent exhibition spaces.

Three presidential homes will unite to launch the Tennessee Presidential Trail on President's Day.

Address

1000 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN
37208

Walking: The Museum is conveniently located just one block west of the Downtown Greenway trailhead and adjacent to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Walking Tour maps that include tours of both downtown as well as in and around the area are available for purchase at Nashville Civic Design Center for $5. Biking: Bike racks are located at 7th Avenue in front of the Farmers’ Market House. There is also a Nashville Bi-Cycle bikeshare dock located in that area. Bikes can be rented at Nashville B-Cycle (https://nashville.bcycle.com/) Public Transportation: The WeGo Transit (Formerly Nashville MTA) Nos. 42 (St. Cecilia/Cumberland) and 22 (Bordeaux) go to the intersection of Rosa Parks and Jefferson Street. In addition, the free Music City Circuit Nos. 60 (Blue) and 61 (Green). Stop near the Farmer’s Market just east of the Museum. (http://www.nashvillemta.org/news/pub184.pdf) Hop On Hop Off Tours: Hop On Hop Off Tours are offered by both Old Time Trolley and Gray Line tour companies which have stops at the Museum in front of the Rosa Parks entrance. Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lot which is located between the Museum and the Nashville Farmers’ Market. There is also free two-hour parking available along 6th and 7th Avenues. On weekends, visitors may also park free in the state employee parking lots around the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 20:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 13:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(615) 741-2692

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History of the Tennessee State Museum

The new Tennessee State Museum that sits on the corner of Rosa L. Parks Blvd. and Jefferson Street at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park can trace its roots back to a museum opened on the Nashville public square in 1817 by a portrait artist, Ralph E.W. Earl. A young boy who visited that museum in 1823 wrote home that he had seen a life-size painting of then General Andrew Jackson. That same painting is now part of the Tennessee State Museum collection.

In 1937 the Tennessee General Assembly created a state museum to consolidate World War I mementos and other collections from the state, the Tennessee Historical Society and other groups. This museum was located in the lower level of the War Memorial Building until it was moved into the new James K. Polk Center in 1981. It remained there for more than 35 years until, in 2015, Gov. Bill Haslam proposed a new home for the museum on the northwest corner of the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville. The Tennessee General Assembly appropriated $120 million to build the Museum, with the additional funding to complete the project to be raised in private contributions.

The new Tennessee State Museum, encompassing 137,000 sq. ft. of administration and gallery space, opened to the public on October 4, 2018.

Plan your visit at tnmuseum.org

Nearby museums


Comments

Awesome place need to plan a whole day here.
A wonderfully complete museum in every way. Three visits and each one an adventure.
What do you have as far as riverboat history?
Thank you so much for making our Jubilee Hills residents so happy! We really enjoyed our visit!
Tennessee State Museum trip to West TN on July 27. Wish I were closer. [copied from TSM email]: "Join us for our next “Experience Tennessee” bus day trip as we travel to beautiful West Tennessee to visit the Alex Haley Museum and historic Ft. Pillow State Park. Tennessee author Alex Haley became famous after writing Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The book inspired many Americans to research their own ancestors. Many of the stories he recounted in this powerful tale were heard on the front porch of his family home, which today houses the Alex Haley Museum & Interpretative Center. Next, the tour will visit Ft. Pillow State Historic Park. This is the site of one of the most controversial and deadly Civil War battles – often referred to as the Fort Pillow Massacre – in which African American Union troops were massacred while attempting to surrender. Visitors can hike to the restored inner fort, visit the park’s museum and interpretive displays, and also look out over the Mississippi River. Both of these sites (and the bus ride) will be guided by knowledgeable historians and literature experts. Lunch will be provided as part of the trip fees. Early bird price is $65 which is good through July 12. After that the price increases to $75. Sign-up now to reserve your spot! ` ` For more information call or email our Community Engagement Manager, Rachel Helvering, at (615) 253-0149, [email protected].
We were very impressed with the museum, you can spend hours and hours and it is so well done. One suggestion might be to have an afternoon or evening just for adults. There were many very young children there and they were very disruptive while i was trying to read or watch one of the many documentary type movies throughout the museum. I absolutely encourage children to attend and learn, but many were simply not well supervised. The staff did suggest coming in the afternoon when far fewer children are there. Overall a great job presenting the states history.
All the different exhibitions and artifacts that are shown!
Art work by Ricky
Parking was a mess today.
Will there be an A Tennessee Waltz Late Party this year in April?