Information Revolution
Info Arts 01 Adam Info Arts 02 Elvis Presley Info Arts 03 Bending the Elbow Info Arts 04 Author Orr Info Arts 05 Falls on Mnt Stream Info Arts 06 Speaker McWherter Info Arts 07 Right on Jefferson Info Arts 08 Erin Info Arts 09 Sarah Cannon


Traditional fine art forms like painting and sculpture flourished in Tennessee during this era. 
The art departments at universities such as Vanderbilt, the Memphis College of Art, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Middle Tennessee State University have grown. These departments attracted highly skilled professional artists to serve as professors, and trained many new artists.
Public and private support for the arts has been provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission, museums, corporate sponsors, and private patrons. This support has enhanced the culture of our state.
Museums and art galleries have also flourished in the state, and have been active in presenting exhibitions of art and culture. The Brooks Museum of Art, the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, and the Pink Palace are located in Memphis. In Nashville is the Frist Center for the Arts, Cheekwood Museum of Art, and the Tennessee State Museum. Knoxville hosts the Knoxville Museum of Art, while Chattanooga has the Hunter Museum of Art.
There are also smaller arts centers that provide exhibits on art and culture for the enrichment of local citizens. These include the Renaissance Center in Dickson, the Arts Center of Cannon County in Woodbury, and the West Tennessee Regional Arts Center in Humboldt, among others.
This has been the era of the blockbuster exhibition. The city of Memphis led the way in 1987 with the Ramesses The Great exhibition, featuring 74 Egyptian antiquities loaned from the Egyptian Museum of Cairo. The success of this exhibit with 675,000 visitors began the Wonders Series, which presented world treasures from different countries. Although the series stopped in 2007, Tennesseans enjoyed exhibits from Russia, France, and China for two decades.
The Tennessee State Museum presented Masterworks: Paintings from the Bridgestone Museum of Art in 1990, which drew more than 180,000 people. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts counted more than 190,000 visitors for their exhibit in 2004, From El Greco to Picasso: European Masterworks from the Phillips Collection.
Many artists live and work in Tennessee. They produce a wide variety of artworks in different styles and mediums. Explore works by these artists in the photographs on this page. 

Check out these Tennessee museums online.

Brooks Art Museum

Picture Credits:
  • Abstract collage of an African-American man entitled, “Adam.” A collage is a picture made by using materials other than paint such as paper, fabric, or photos. This collage was created by George Hunt in 1995 and uses tin foil, fabric, twine, glass, sequins, and paper. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 1997.101.1
  • Lithographic image of Elvis Presley. A lithograph is a picture created on a flat stone or metal surface and then painted with a special ink and grease. This lithograph was created by Red Grooms in 1987. It shows Elvis dressed in gold and playing his guitar next to a Cadillac. Priscilla Presley and Graceland are also shown in the background. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 89.129.
  • Abstract painting entitled, “Bending the Elbow.” This painting was created by Arthur Orr in 1994. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 2008.359.2.
  • Photograph of Arthur Orr. This photo was taken by photographer Dennis Wile sometime between 1975 and 1980. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 2005.127.
  • Painting entitled, “Falls on Mountain Stream.” This painting was created by Ed Kellog in 2000. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 2001.60.
  • Painting entitled, “Speaker McWherter.” This painting was created by William Shimek in 1986. It shows Speaker of the House, Ned McWherter at the Speaker’s rostrum at the State Capitol in Nashville. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 1998.48.1.
  • Painting entitled, “Right on Jefferson.” This painting was created by Jim Osborn in 2009. It features a view of the Bicentennial Mall and the State Capitol from Seventh and Jefferson streets. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 2009.68.7.
  • A computer manipulated photograph entitled, “Untitled (Erin).” This image was created by Chris Scarborough in 2007. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 2009.54.7.
  • Photograph of Sarah Cannon. This photo was taken by photographer Dennis Wile in 1986. It shows Sarah Cannon, who is well known for her character Minnie Pearl from the Grand Ole Opry. Tennessee State Museum Collection, 2006.32.3.

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