Heating Up! The Story of Stoves

June 8, 2017 - October 28, 2017


 For over 100 years, stoves have been designed and manufactured in our city.  We are proud to claim the names of Brown, Dixie, Hardwick, and Magic Chef.  Come see these stoves and discover their connection to the number one major appliance manufacturer in the world, Whirlpool Corporation. 

Maytag Gyrator Washer Model 33-gasoline engine, 1937

Maytag Gyrator Washer

Model 33-gasoline engine, 1937


Why is there a Maytag washer in our Story of Stoves Exhibit?

Come to the Museum Center and find out! 

Heating Up! The Story of Stoves will remain open until October 28th, 2017.


proudly sponsored by

War Memorials, Our Community: 7 Wars

April 28, 2017-January 20, 2018

As United States Citizens we celebrate our independence and freedom. These liberties were and continue to be made possible by those serving in our military. This exhibit will highlight local men and women throughout history that have served in wartime, foreign and domestic, protecting the rights of fellow countrymen to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Not only do we owe a debt of gratitude to those who put their life in harm’s way for our independence, but also to those who remained behind on the home front. Although they weren’t in battle they continued to serve, picking up where our soldiers had to leave off and devoting their time and energy to caring for those wounded soldiers.

We introduce this exhibit in honor of those who fought and those who bore the burden of war on the home front.

A telegram notifying the family of Edward G. Sharpe’s death in the Vietnam War.  L1999.166.001

A telegram notifying the family of Edward G. Sharpe’s death in the Vietnam War. 


Civil War-Era Bullets 2000.019.020   The Sequestrian Act of the Confederacy allowed for the seizure of the Ducktown Copper Mines and the Cleveland Copper Rolling Mill, the only sources of copper in the South, needed for artillery.

Civil War-Era Bullets



The Sequestrian Act of the Confederacy allowed for the seizure of the Ducktown Copper Mines and the Cleveland Copper Rolling Mill, the only sources of copper in the South, needed for artillery.

War ration booklet administered during World War I.  2009.002.001

War ration booklet administered during World War I. 


English Tanks and American soldiers readying for battle during WWI.  1999.009.009

English Tanks and American soldiers readying for battle during WWI. 


War Memorials is proudly sponsored by:


Grown and Bred in East Tennessee

January 12 - May 27, 2017

Agriculture has been a part of human subsistence for all of history. More recently there has been less of a need for each individual family group to farm their own food. The way our food is produced and harvested, as a result, has become somewhat foreign to most Americans. This exhibit will take a look at Tennessee agriculture and farming, how it has and continues to be grown and bred here in our region.

L1999.090.018 Singletree



Before the use of large machinery, like tractors, it was the draft animals, cattle and horses, which would help carry out heavy tasks around the farm. A singletree is a wooden bar set between the draft animal and a plow, wagon or any other device. The singletree attaches to a trace strap, which was connected to an animal's collar, helping to balance their pull when carrying a heavy load. Shackles attach the singletree to the device being used. Carl Whitworth's father, J.W. Whitworth made this singletree in the late 1940's in Cleveland, Georgia.


College Hill Heritage

1927 Graduating Class

On view from November 4, 2016 through March 25, 2017

The Freedmen’s Bureau, set in place by the Lincoln administration following the end of the Civil War, was a relief effort for recently freed slaves. Education was one of the needs met by the funding of the Bureau. The Freedman’s school here in Cleveland began in 1867 and by 1883 it had been moved and renamed College Hill School.

College Hill had a reputation for outstanding education and excellent teachers throughout its history. Although the school closed in 1966 (and later mysteriously burned down) its legacy lives on. The Museum Center is proud to display artifacts from some of the Alumni of College Hill in addition to personal stories and memories of their time there. Come and experience College Hill’s Heritage at the Museum Center at 5ive Points. 

College Hill Schoolhouse built in 1924

College Hill Heritage is generously sponsored by:

Ocoee River History and Heritage

One River, Many Stories: Ocoee River History and Heritage

Through the waters of the Ocoee River runs the lifeblood of one of southeast Tennessee’s most valuable economic assets. From hydroelectric power generation to commercial rafting and recreation, the Ocoee River silently and selflessly serves our region in more ways than one. But what to do when multiple parties with an interest in the river’s management collide? Which has precedence? Who “owns” the water of the Ocoee? Government agencies, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)? Commercial rafting outfitters? Or the people of the Ocoee Region and beyond?

On July 29, the Museum Center opened One River, Many Stories: Ocoee River History and Heritage, an exhibit focusing on the multi-faceted significance of the river to our region: from its earliest Native American usage, the construction of the first dams in 1910, and the advent of commercial rafting. Unlike most exhibits, which focus exclusively on the past, this exhibit will have an eye for the future—the current recreational use agreement between the outfitters and TVA is set to expire in 2019. Unless they reach another agreement, recreational use of the river will disappear and it will once again be used solely for power generation. One River, Many Stories places these issues in their appropriate economic, sociopolitical, and environmental contexts with the goal of helping viewers understand the myriad ways in which the Ocoee contributes to our region.

The exhibit opens to the public on July 29 and will be open through December 17, 2016.

One River, Many Stories is generously sponsored by First Tennessee Foundation.

Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children's Literature

On April 14, 2016, the Museum Center at 5ive Points welcome Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children's Literature, a traveling exhibition organized by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Knox County Public Library. The exhibit will remain on display until July 23.

Few things capture our hearts and senses more vividly than children’s books. They ignite imagination and help bring structure and understanding to developing minds. Their stories linger and guide us into adulthood; they help define us. Perhaps more than any other region,  Appalachia has captured the nation’s imagination. It is a land where the blue smoke of the mountains, the self -sufficiency of life in a holler, and the singsong of an enthralling storyteller come together in a near mythic culture. Appalachia is a land about which stories are told. By examining seminal titles published over the decades since the late 1800s, we hope to show the fuller picture of our region's literary heritage, and how this literature tells the story of childhood in Appalachia.

This groundbreaking exhibition of Appalachian children's literature explores books published since the late 1800s. Based on research by Jamie Osborn, Manager of the Halls Branch, Knox County Public Library, Reading Appalachia aims to show a more complete picture of the region's literary heritage and how this literature tells the story of childhood in Appalachia. The members-only opening reception will be held at 6 PM on Thursday, April 14. The exhibit will open to the public at 10 AM the next day. 

Sporting life-size characters from some of the books, the exhibit is designed to create the sensation of walking through the pages of a storybook. Children can stand eye-to-eye with characters from Journey Cake Ho, A Mountain Rose, When Otter Tricked the Rabbit, When I Was Young, and others. The exhibit includes hands on activities that bring the subject to life for kids of all ages. Children are encouraged to try on masks of storybook characters and find themselves in a story. They are also invited to create their own story of childhood set in Appalachia.

Attendees can view original films and hear the voice of old time storyteller Ray Hicks along with some of their favorite authors and illustrators. Each panel includes an interpretation of the text from a child’s perspective. A

 Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children's Literature is made possible through the generous support of Clayton Homes, the Jane L. Pettway Foundation, Friends of the Knox County Public Library, and the University of Tennessee’s Center for Children and Young Adult Literature.

Stitches in Time Annual Quilt Show

Stitches in Time Quilt Show, March 17-April 2, 2016

Stitches in Time the Museum's annual Quilt Show opened on Thursday evening, March 17 with the opening awards ceremony. 

The 2016 Stitches in Time quilt show opened to an excited crowd of quilters on Thursday evening, March 17. Ribbons were already placed on winning quilts, including this year’s Best in Show – Thistle Pods by Mary Ruth Younger (pictured on the cover) – and the Judge’s Choice – Inner Circle by Kimberly Wilson.

Visitors to the show will get to see 52 beautiful and unique quilts from antique and modern bed quilts, to art quilts and wall hangings.

Visitor also vote for their favorite to win the Ruth Hale Viewer’s Choice award, which will be announced at the close of the show on April 2 at 2:30pm.

This year’s show brought in several important changes to help make it our best show yet! Some changes were simple, such as the new eleven-category system that accommodates many unique quilt types. We also eliminated entry fees so any area quilter could enter up to three of their creations at no charge.  The change to ticketing is even more exciting.  Anyone attending one of the show's educational or workshop programs only pays admission once. That’s right: once. For our normal one-time admission fee ($5 for adults and $4 for students and seniors) attendees will receive a personalized entry voucher good for the duration of the show. This includes admission to the quilt gallery and all programs. And, like always, admission to the gallery and programs is free for Museum members.

The quilts this year are displayed on brand-new, specially designed quilt racks that display up to six quilts each. We are extremely grateful to Museum member Bill Johnson for donating his time and expertise to design and build these incredible racks that will be used for years to come.

One more addition - quilt appraisals will be available for an additional fee on April 1-2 from professional appraiser Cynthia Stuart. Cynthia has studied quilt appraising with the American Quilter’s Society in Kentucky and has lectured on quilt history at a variety of organizations, including the Tennessee Quilt History Group. For any quilter interested in ascertaining the dollar value of their quilt for insurance purposes, this is an excellent opportunity. 


Novelties and Knick-Knacks exhibit open March 3-October 22, 2016

Why do people collect things? Even most collectors can’t explain what drives them to collect their objects of choice. For many, collecting starts casually and quickly grows into a passion. Some collect objects for their beauty, others for their rarity. Others cite personal interest or functionality as their motive for collecting—like the coffee connoisseur who can’t get enough mugs. And some people collect objects that some regard as without beauty, value, or utility. Something buried deep in their nature drives them to collect for reasons that even they can’t explain.

The psychology that underlies the urge to collect is deep and complex, and applies to organizations larger than the individual. Museums love to collect, too. Museum collections are as diverse as personal ones. Some museums collect art, others fossils. Here at our local Museum, we collect objects related to the history of the Ocoee Region. Within our larger collection, we have a set of more than 1,500 pieces of early American pressed pattern glass. On March 3, the Museum opened a new exhibit that uses this collection to help visitors understand the urges and joys of collecting.

This community-centered exhibit invited local citizens to submit objects from their personal collections for display as well, along with statements about what, why, and how they collect. The collections on view introduce our guests to the joys and mysteries of collecting and highlight some of the most interesting personal collections of our community. Included are collections of butterflies, nativities, PEZ dispensers, foreign currency, stamps, and political memorabilia. 

The exhibit opened the evening of Thursday, March 3, 2016 and will run through Saturday, October 22, 2016. It is located in the Museum Lobby exhibit cases. 


Made in TN: Manufacturing Milestones

Made in Tennessee: Manufacturing Milestones offers visitors a look at the history of industry and manufacturing in east Tennessee.

Temporary exhibit open November 19, 2015 - February 20, 2016.

Cleveland, Tenn. (November 1, 2015)—East Tennessee is a region with a rich and diverse industrial history. Cleveland itself has been home to a number of successful fabricators including Hardwick Woolen Mills, Dixie Foundry, the Cleveland Chair Company, and Magic Chef. More recently, Cleveland and the surrounding region have welcomed other global manufacturers and industrial enterprises. Wacker, Whirlpool, and Volkswagen are only a few of many possible examples.

            On November 19, 2015 at 6 PM the Museum Center at 5ive Points will welcome the traveling exhibition Made in Tennessee: Manufacturing Milestones to Cleveland with a special members-only opening reception. The exhibit will explore the history of manufacturing and industry in the east Tennessee region, and will open to the general public on November 20. Made in Tennessee: Manufacturing Milestones is a traveling exhibition organized by the East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, Tennessee. The exhibition project was made possible through an educational grant from the Alcoa Foundation to highlight Tennessee’s manufacturing story—past, present, and future. The grant was awarded in honor of Alcoa Tennessee Operations 100th Anniversary and the announcement of its automotive expansion project on May 2, 2013. Additional support comes from the Tennessee Valley Authority. The exhibit will be on view through February 20, 2015.

Read more about the exhibit at East Tennessee Historical Society website

Curious Collections: Oddities of the Museum Center

Temporary exhibit open July 17 - November 7, 2015

In the eye of the general public, museums are usually perceived as guardians of objects from the past; public servants entrusted with shepherding valuable artifacts, once common but now festooned with the cobwebs of time. In order to preserve historic objects, most museums are only able to exhibit a small portion of these relics at any one time. The Museum Center at 5ive Points is no exception. Many objects appear strange and unknown – pieces that are odd, obscure, and make you say, “Huh?!” From railroader jacks to torsion balances to carbide mining lamps, the Museum has a large collection of items which have fallen out of common use, often being replaced by smaller and more accurate digital and electronic counterparts. As a result, many of these objects have been forgotten over the years. On Thursday, July 16, at 6 PM, at a special members-only opening reception, the Museum will bring to light these treasures of the past and put them on display for the community to see. The exhibit will open to the general public on July 17.

This is sure to be an exhibit that appeals to local Clevelanders and area history buffs alike. For some of these objects, it will be the first time since the opening of the Museum that they will be on public view. After the close of the exhibit, these unique artifacts will be returned to storage, so visitors won’t want to miss the chance to see them during this limited run.

            The family-friendly exhibit will have an educational focus. Many of the objects will feature accompanying clues, giving visitors hints about the object’s use and history, and inviting them to guess what it is. Fun for children and adults alike, this exhibit will invite learning through observation. “We hope visitors will leave the exhibit with a fuller appreciation for the complexities and richness of our material heritage,” says Curator of Collections, Sam Rumschlag. The exhibit will close on November 7.

Mainstreet Cleveland: Celebrating the Heritage of Cleveland's Historic Downtown

The proud history of Cleveland's historic downtown district spans nearly two centuries. Today, several iconic buildings remain at the core of downtown life. We invite you to learn more about our historic downtown area in this temporary exhibit. See historic and modern images of the buildings and learn what businesses and organizations they have housed over the years. 

On view May 14, 2015 through August 14, 2015

In partnership with Mainstreet Cleveland in celebration of their 25th Anniversary!

Cleveland: Exploring Our Future

On view Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - Saturday, August 1, 2015. 1 WEEK ONLY!

FREE for all visitors. Entrance to other exhibits requires regular admission fee. 

In partnership with the City of Cleveland, the Museum presents the exhibit CLEVELAND: EXPLORING OUR FUTURE. The exhibit highlights the conceptual proposals from six projects completed by the Smart Communities Initiative project centered on the redevelopment of downtown Cleveland.

Project areas include: Woolen Mill District, Woolen Mill Branch Greenway extension, Summit Apartments (Historic Cherokee Hotel), brownfield redevelopment, City of Cleveland brand, and a community survey.

IndiVisible: African Native American Lives in the Americas

April 23, 2015 - July 3, 2015

Indivisible, from Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibitions, looks at the lives and experiences of people who share African American and Native American ancestry - a double heritage that truly is indivisible. The exhibition IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES).

Learn more about this exhibit HERE.

Comanche family, early 1900s Here is a family from the Comanche Nation located in southwestern Oklahoma. The elder man in Comanche traditional clothing is Ta-Ten-e-quer. His wife, Ta-Tat-ty, also wears Comanche clothing. Their niece (center) is Wife-per, also known as Frances E. Wright. Her father was a Buffalo Soldier (an African American cavalryman) who deserted and married into the Comanches. Henry (center left) and Lorenzano (center right) are the sons of Frances, who married an African American man. Courtesy Sam DeVenney

Comanche family, early 1900s

Here is a family from the Comanche Nation located in southwestern Oklahoma. The elder man in Comanche traditional clothing is Ta-Ten-e-quer. His wife, Ta-Tat-ty, also wears Comanche clothing. Their niece (center) is Wife-per, also known as Frances E. Wright. Her father was a Buffalo Soldier (an African American cavalryman) who deserted and married into the Comanches. Henry (center left) and Lorenzano (center right) are the sons of Frances, who married an African American man.

Courtesy Sam DeVenney

Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site

Open March 19 through December 26, 2015

This royal seal, carved in the shape of a scarab beetle, was found at Khirbet el-Maqatir in 2013. It was fashioned around 1500 BC. 

Over time, the human footprint leaves many layers on the earth; archaeology fascinatingly uncovers these layers, bringing to the surface artifacts long since buried and forgotten. Each artifact is a piece of the story of an earlier time and civilization. The Museum’s exhibit, Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site will connect us with people across two millennia, who lived between 3500 and 1500 years ago and will reveal humankind through the ages. 

In partnership with the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria and the Associates of Biblical Research, the Museum Center at 5ive Points is honored to host a nine-month exhibition of artifacts from excavations in Israel at Khirbet el-Maqatir, thought to be the site of the ancient city of Ai as described in the Bible in the Book of Joshua Chapters 7-8. 

Over 40 objects will be on display telling the story of this city. The exhibition is organized around four periods represented by the excavation at the site: Middle Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age, Early Roman Age and Byzantine Age. Pottery, jewelry and coins help uncover the identity of this ancient city. 

The exhibition will also engage students from Lee University, a member of the Khirbet el-Maqatir consortium. Local students participated in site digs and learned the process of uncovering antiquities. With a display of archaeological tools and research materials, they will share their experiences from being a part of this project.

Khirbet el-Maqatir opens on March 19 in a newly designed exhibition space in the Museum lobby and will be on view through December 26, 2015. The Museum will host events throughout the year to celebrate the themes related to the exhibit. These and other upcoming events can be found on www.museumcenter.org/calendar

Pioneering Pulpits: The First Ocoee Churches

Open December 10, 2014 through April 4, 2015

An outdoor water baptism service conducted by the Church of God of Prophecy. 

An outdoor water baptism service conducted by the Church of God of Prophecy. 

Settlers continued to move westward, on the hunch of new lands, opportunities and possibilities. There was no tangible guarantee that life would be better, that opportunities would happen. It was a matter of faith. Along with the few meager possessions that were strapped into the back of covered wagons, families relied on strength, faith and hope to lead them to better beginnings.

Sanctuary. Faith. Community. These words – among others – are synonymous with the concept of a church. The history of the Ocoee churches follows the pattern generally found in this area of the South. Along with their desire to build homes in their new land, settlers brought the courage, faith and religious convictions that were theirs by nature and inheritance. As they built cabins for homes, pioneers opened these homes to their neighbors for services of worship. Soon meetinghouses were erected – crude brush arbors and log huts, but these were the first churches of the Ocoee.  They have stood the test of time as early zealous settlers sought to educate their Cherokee neighbors. They hoped to win them to Christianity as they busily engaged in establishing their own religious bodies. The first were the Presbyterians.  They pioneered religious works in the Ocoee region by establishing mission schools and churches for the Cherokee. Reverend Dr. Gideon Blackburn built the first mission school south of the Hiwassee in 1804, thirteen years before Chattanooga.

Polk County can lay claim to the earliest organized church in the region. Columbiana Presbyterian opened its doors in 1822 in the town of Columbus. The community of eleven families, one doctor, one merchant and one tavern created the first church. Ministers were part of the circuit riders.  The church held services once or twice a month when a pastor made his way into the area.

Branches of other churches made their way to Bradley County. Members of the Shiloh Presbyterian Church in Calhoun decided to open their own church on the other side of the river. Quickly, a committee formed and the First Presbyterian Church began.

These churches and others sprang in a grassroots effort to maintain the faith of the settler’s forefathers. The Ocoee Region is home to a diverse set of First Churches, including the headquarters of the Church of God and the Church of God of Prophecy. Each faith and each church that sprang from the “Firsts” has established a long-lived history within the Ocoee.

The exhibition takes each of the Firsts and explores their origins from brush arbors to architectural feats in a rural region. Congregations grew, but out of the founding members, what families are left? As membership continues to grow, which churches are direct descendants of the Firsts? Why not just continue to grow as one large congregation rather than fracture and build multiple churches? Places of worship and community are the heart of a pioneering settlement, and the Ocoee region in no different. 

Pioneering Pulpits: The First Churches of the Ocoee will be on view through April 4, 2015.

Learning the Curve: The Artistry of Matt Moulthrop

Drought. Famine. Disease. Sun. Rain. All of these factors contribute in the creation of a life story. The interpretation of these factors is the real challenge for any person, including historians, anthropologists and even artists.

One artist in particular has chosen a medium, which is generally not considered when the idea of expressing a life story comes to mind. Third generation wood-turner Matt Moulthrop has taken up the mantle of telling stories in his own particular way, through trees.

The life of a tree is influenced by the world around it and growth rings tell the story. Within the first few years of life, a tree may experience severe drought or an overabundance of rain. Each of these events is recorded within the tree. Drought and disease, flooding and lack of sunlight, major weather events – all leave evidence behind in the form of ring spacing and coloration. Hidden in plain sight is the accurately recorded history of mankind all around us in the trees.  

Matt Moulthrop has stepped in to interpret these stories through his art. The idea of giving trees a voice is an interesting and a new approach. With his selection of various trees found mainly in the Southeastern United States, Moulthrop tells the unique account of our region. His works of art are turned bowls in classical forms, leaving the simplicity and elegance of the piece to do the talking. Each turned object is a singular story of a location in our region.

Matt works with the wood, first by selecting the best pieces. Secondly, turning this piece on his lathe, he begins to unveil every growth ring, wormhole, and imperfection in the wood. The final step is capturing this story within a glass-like finish.

Learning this particular art form began with his grandfather, Ed Moulthrop, who came to the craft only after achieving a successful career as an architect. Discovering that woodturning could in fact enable him to care for his family, Ed worked in his shop full-time. He developed his own tools, crafting them from scrap metal and turned large-scale projects, the likes of which the woodturning world had never seen.

Ed’s son, Philip, learned the love of the art after he also had a successful career, as a lawyer.  Philip turned full time as well, never staying with one form or style long, preferring to let each tree decide its own unique form. After much trial and error, Philip eventually created his Mosaic series. A body of work that is created with various wood pieces and a dark resin, turned in classical styles.

Matt, too, learned the art of woodturning after having a career. He learned with the help of this father and grandfather, contributing a dozen new tree species to the Moulthrop’s body of work, as well as, developing a system, which distributes and enhances the glass finish on each Moulthrop piece.

The stories that the Moulthrop family has revealed continue to grow as they receive commission pieces for beloved trees or through the immense pile of wood available in their back yard. Each tree that Matt and Philip work shows another snapshot of history and tells another story that reveals an unknown tale through the medium of wood. 

Learning the Curve: The Artistry of Matt Moulthrop is sponsored by Bank of Cleveland and is on view August 29 through November 15, 2014.



In the Dirt: The Fast and Dirty World of Dirt Track Racing

Tommy Fryar (right) accepting his 1968 Tennessee Dirt Track Champion trophy in Sportsman Division. Photography on loan by Tommy Fryar. 

Tommy Fryar (right) accepting his 1968 Tennessee Dirt Track Champion trophy in Sportsman Division. Photography on loan by Tommy Fryar. 

Just like moonshine or biscuits and gravy, oval track racing has been an integral part of East Tennessee’s culture for a century. Dozens of dirt tracks operated in our tiny corner of the world and frequently served as social and entertainment centers for communities large and small. Yet for each track that still runs, dozens more have fallen silent as time and progress have swept away their histories. Each driver who buckles on a helmet today follows a history of men who risked life, limb and money for those precious moments of octane blazing euphoria around a half-mile dirt track.

Dirt track racing’s vibrant history in our area gained traction in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. With names such as Jack Cunningham, the Fryar Brothers, and Doc German, these men helped to shape and support the octane movement, along with local legend Joe Lee Johnson who raced in NASCAR and won the inaugural World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, bringing his trophy home to Cleveland. These racers and more dedicated themselves to the weekend gauntlet in southeast Tennessee. Keeping busy as they traveled for racing adventures, drivers raced at Boyd’s Speedway on Friday night, moving to Cleveland Speedway on Saturday night, and, finally, the last chance at some weekend cash at North Georgia Speedway on Sunday evenings. Racers returned home victorious or smashed up with outrageous stories but always with renewed motivation to fix their car and try again next week.

Many racers traveled outside the East Tennessee region, competing in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and Kentucky. These racers made a living following the tracks and searching for promoters who paid out good money for a show. Even wrecking on purpose made money, especially when racers knew they would finish low. The legacy of East Tennessee racers spread far and wide on dirt and asphalt tracks and to the high reaches of NASCAR.

The Museum Center is preparing for a wild ride as we bring to life the history of dirt track racing. Opening on May 29, 2014 at our Members-Only opening, this exhibition delves into the rich history that goes from 0-60 mph in half a lap. Discover the origins of dirt track racing with the invention of the automobile and the revelation of speed by running whiskey in the mountains. Explore the various tracks that made up the region’s social hubs. Learn about individual drivers, their starts in racing, and their dynastic legacies that followed. Sadly, dirt track racing is losing fans and fame leading to questions of why. What happened to hometown racing? Come and discuss these and other points of racing history during our exhibition. 

In the Dirt: The Fast and Dirty World of Dirt Track Racing is sponsored by EasyAuto.

Common People in Uncommon Times: The Civil War Experience in Tennessee on view through May 17, 2014

Geographically centered between the Grain Belt of the Midwest and the Cotton Belt of the Deep South, Tennessee was destined to be a major battlefield, supply center, transportation hub and invasion route for both the Union and Confederate armies. Unavoidably, Tennessee became a focal point of the Civil War. The state generated large quantities of supplies for a fighting force including wheat, corn, hay, beef, and bacon. Tennessee’s overall location made it a political hotbed, particularly in East Tennessee, which voted to remain with the Union, while the rest of the state chose to join the new Confederate States of America. Armies specifically targeted the city of Chattanooga because of its location as the “Gateway to the South.” Chattanooga was the railroad center of the Western Theater with trains reaching every part of the United States. The Union Army considered Chattanooga the last stronghold of the south, protecting the jewel city, Atlanta. Once Chattanooga fell, General Sherman marched toward Atlanta launching his renowned “march to the sea” and destroying any southern chance of winning.

The war disrupted and impacted the people of Tennessee in ways that are almost unimaginable. This traveling exhibition researched and developed by the Tennessee State Museum focuses on individual Tennesseans and will highlight the personal stories of common people surviving in the most trying and sometimes most jubilant of times. Most Civil War stories speak of the life of soldiers and conflicts that surrounded them. Meanwhile on the Tennessee home front, civilian life, especially in the rural areas, suffered immensely. Crops and farms were destroyed and livestock confiscated. Towns and cities faced the uneasy and unfamiliar aspect of occupation by Union or Confederate armies. Common People in Uncommon Times highlight the men and women on the home front, in battle, and in the political arena through photographs and archival materials from this pivotal point in American history.  The lives of John fielder, a store keeper; Cate Carney, a defiant secessionist; and C.A. Haun a potter are just a few that will be explored during this traveling exhibition. 

Common People in Uncommon Times: The Civil War Experience in Tennessee is sponsored by Cooke's Food Stores and Pharmacy in conjunction with the Tennessee State Museum as part of the the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Tennessee. 

Stitches In Time: Hand Quilting on view through March 1, 2014

The process of quilting can be traced to ancient Egypt and China. The concept is simple: to provide warmth. An inner layer of fabric provides warmth, the outer layers provide stability, and the quilting or stitching through the layers is necessary to prevent the shifting and clumping of the layers. In colder climes, such as England, quilting can be traced to the 11th century with the help of wills and diaries. Settling in the newly founded colonies, the first quilts were undoubtable English in style; however, no examples survive. Records from household inventories, bills of lading, letters and diaries from America’s colonial women indicate that blankets were standard and quilts were a luxury item. Not until the 19th century was the practice of quilting widespread. With the Industrial Revolution, the act of spinning and weaving threads individually became obsolete and purchasing bolts of cloth was commonplace. The development of thousands of patterns allowed quilting to become the American pastime for women as they met in social circles for quilting bees and participated in church quilting groups. It is these few years that hand quilting flourished in America with examples still surviving. Shortly after the Industrial Revolution, the sewing machine became the popular and easy way to quilt while hand quilting became a skill of the past, quickly falling victim to progress.

Stiches in Time: Hand Quilting will display these hand quilting creations as pieces of history and pieces of art. The show will feature historic examples of hand quilting pre-dating the 1950s. In addition, contemporary hand quilted pieces will explore techniques and patterns from this disappearing art. One piece on display will be a “whitework quilt” - considered the epitome of a quilter’s skill as it shows every nuance of stitch and technique.

Stitches in Time: Hand Quilting will be judged by National Quilting Association Inc. certified judge Madeline Hawley. Certified since 1984, Hawley has worked locally, regionally, and nationally, judging over 30 shows throughout the country. With a background in traditional quilting, she has expanded her interest to include innovative and art quilts. In addition, she has published various articles and reviews about quilting and has since published a book. Hawley will be judging our show in various categories including: Best of Show Small and Large, Best of Show Duet and Group, Color and Design.

The exhibition will open on Thursday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. for our members-only opening reception. In addition, quilt show submitters will be on hand to discuss their quilts and experiences. The exhibition opens to the public on Friday, January 24 and will run through March 1, 2014. 

Stitches in Time: Hand Quilting is sponsored by First Tennessee.