Art, artists subject of new East Tennessee history exhibit

This scene by Louis Jones is among the art in the new exhibit 'East Tennessee Art & Artists' at the Museum of East Tennessee History.

This scene by Louis Jones is among the art in the new exhibit "East Tennessee Art & Artists" at the Museum of East Tennessee History.

East Tennessee Art & Artists

What: Selections from the collection of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection & East Tennessee Historical SocietynWhere: Museum of East Tennessee History, 601 S. Gay St.

When: March 9-June 24; ETHS members preview 2-4 p.m. today; regular hours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $5 for adults, $4 for ages 55 & older, free for ages 16 & younger

Art showing the people and scenes of East Tennessee and art created by artists from East Tennessee will be shown March 19-June 24 in a new exhibit at the Museum of East Tennessee History.

The pieces, mostly paintings, have been selected from the collections of the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection. Both collections are housed in the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St.

About 40 objects from the permanent collections will be exhibited in "East Tennessee Art & Artists." The selections trace the history of the region and its art from the time of the 18th-century frontier to today. In addition to paintings and sketches, the exhibit will include some sculpture and photographs.

The art includes works done by a 19th-century traveling painter to 20th-century works by artists and University of Tennessee professors Carl Sublett and Kermit Ewing. Ewing began the art curriculum at UT in the late 1940s.

Helen Bullard's carving of Gertrude Stein is the only carving in the Museum of East Tennessee History show.

Helen Bullard's carving of Gertrude Stein is the only carving in the Museum of East Tennessee History show.

Among the early art shown are two portraits created in the 1850s by a man named Edmund Hacker, who traveled through East Tennessee drawing or painting portraits. Another early work is an 1850s sketchbook of pencil drawings by Auguste Burnand, a French-Swiss who lived in the Knoxville area for about 10 years. The book was acquired by the McClung Collection in 1975 after it'd been found in a Paris book shop. The exhibit will include East Tennessee landscapes by self-taught Knoxville artist Charles Krutch. Krutch, who died in 1934, earned his living as a portrait photographer. But he enjoyed spending weeks in the Smoky Mountains, sketching what he saw and then painting from those sketches back at his Knoxville home.

The work of sister artists Catherine Wiley and Eleanor McAdoo Wiley also will be shown. Those 20th-century selections include portraits by each sister as well as the easel and palette used by Catherine Wiley. Another Knoxville female artist, Adelia Armstrong Lutz, also will be represeted. Lutz studied art at Washington's Corcoran Art Gallery, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and in Europ and was an art teacher to young ladies in the Victorian era, Her favorite subjects to paint were portraits and flowers. She died in 1931.

"East Tennessee Art & Artists" also includes selections created by East Tennesseans Lloyd Branson and Russell Briscoe. Branson's art ranged from portraits to recreations of historic events on canvas. The self-taught Briscoe in the 1960s and 1970s often painted scenes from Knoxville history, showing events and buildings in a nostalgic view.

The exhibit is open 2-4 p.m. today for a preview by ETHS members. At noon April 11, McClung Collection Manager Steve Cotham will speak about "East Tennessee Through the Eyes of Its Artists."

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