Knoxville probably isn’t the first U.S. city that comes to mind when you think of the arts. Municipalities like Chicago and New York, homes of museums like the Art Institute of Chicago or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, probably pop into your head before the “Scruffy Little City.”
But Knoxville’s downtown is home to multiple art galleries displaying the work of many renowned artists in a variety of forms. The city also puts on the monthly First Friday, during which local artists display their art in galleries and shops downtown (not to mention plenty of free finger food and boxed wine for the starving artists).
Knoxville, too, is home to the Knoxville Museum of Art. KMA opened its doors in 1990 in a 53,200 square-foot facility designed by museum architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. The museum would serve as replacement to its predecessor, the Dulin Gallery of Art, which opened in 1961. KMA was accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1996 and reaccredited in 2005.
KMA is located in between downtown and the University of Tennessee campus on the grounds of the World’s Fair Park at 1050 World’s Fair Park. It can easily be reached by way of Interstate 40, Western Avenue, Cumberland Avenue or Henley Street. Directions can be found here
The museum is closed on Mondays, open Tuesday–Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sundays 1–5 p.m. Free lot parking is available; metered parking can be found on the street. KMA is fully accessible to patrons using wheelchairs. Admission to the museum is currently free. Memberships are also available. Podcasts focusing on individual exhibits are available for free download on iTunes on the KMA Web site. Click here or call 865-525-6101 for more information.
KMA presents works by artists of regional, national and international reputation. The gallery’s collection numbers nearly 700 objects. Among them are 20th and 21st century paintings, sculpture, crafts and mixed media works. Artists whose works can be found in the collection include Charles Burchfield, Robert Longo, Loretta Lux, William Morris, Kenneth Snelson and Robert Stackhouse, as well as East Tennessee artists like impressionist Catherine Wiley, glass sculptor Richard Jolley, folk artist Bessie Harvey, painter Walter Hollis Stevens and famous African-American painter Joseph Delaney. The museum has also hosted a variety of exhibits over the years, including the works of Seonna Hong, Sarah Hobbs, Tim Davis, Francisco Goya, Clare Rojas, Mary Lee Bendolph and Knoxville’s own letterpress Yee-Haw Industries. Whether you are moved by paintings, animation, jewelry or quilting, KMA has art you will appreciate.
Additionally, KMA provides a variety of educational services. The museum hosts educational field study trips, provides classroom curricula for teachers, and hosts gallery talks and family days. An Exploratory Gallery lets children interact with artist-designed installations to better learn about the creative process.
KMA is home to the popular Alive After Five concert series. Held on select Fridays throughout the year in the museum’s Great Hall, the concerts are catered, family friendly and usually cost $8 for nonmembers, and $4 for KMA members and students.
The museum’s gift shop is also located in the Great Hall. Offerings include exhibition-related gifts, posters, stationary, coffee table books, toys, games, art supplies, and hand-made pieces crafted by local and regional artisans.
|Concessions||Gift Shop||Live Music||Rides||Cost||Age|
|Sunday||1 p.m.||5 p.m.|
|Tuesday||10 a.m.||5 p.m.|
|Wednesday||10 a.m.||5 p.m.|
|Thursday||10 a.m.||5 p.m.|
|Friday||10 a.m.||8 p.m.|
|Saturday||10 a.m.||5 p.m.|
Upcoming Events for Knoxville Museum of Art
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