Tennessee Museums

Museums in Tennessee

Museums in Memphis, Tennessee

They can tell stories and in songs like only Southerners can at the Centre for Southern Folklore and the Folklore Store in Memphis. The centre celebrates Southern culture through music, arts, cooking and storytelling. Visit the folk art gallery, performance hall and store, where you’ll find Moon Pies and tiny bags of cotton.

There’s perhaps no better place to learn about the Mississippi River than on it. The Mississippi River Museum on Mud Island River Park in Memphis takes a comprehensive look at the mighty Mississippi, exploring its geological beginnings and influences on culture – including the music of, you guessed it, Elvis Presley!

Housed in the motel where Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis vividly tells the story of key struggles in the movement for racial equality.

About the National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum is the site of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The museum chronicles the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000 with historical exhibits, including Room 306, the hotel room where Dr. King stayed.

Since opening in 1991, the museum has hosted over 3.5 million visitors and exists to assist the public in understanding the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact and influence on human rights movements worldwide.

Museums in Nashville, Tennessee

The Tennessee Statee Museum can be traced back to a museum opened by a portrait artist, Ralph E W Earl in 1817 on the Nashville public square. A young boy once visited the museum in 1823 and wrote back home saying how he had seen a life size painting of General Andrew Jackson, and today that same portrait hangs in the State Museum.

In 1937 the Genearl Assembly decided to create a museum to exhibit World War I mementos and other collections from around the state of Tennessee and groups, including the Tennessee Historical Society. The museum as it was then was in the lower level of the War Memorial Building until it relocated into the new James K Polk Centre in 1981 and can be found on the corner of Fifth and Deaderick streets. The Tennessee State Museum currently occupies three floors, covering approximately 120,000 sq.feet with more than 60,000 sq.feet devoted to exhibits. 

The Military Museum is located in the War Memorial Building across the road from the main facilities of the Tennessee State Museum. Exhibitions include Americas overseas conflicts starting with the Spanish-American War and finishing with World War II in 1945.

Museum in Vonore, Tennessee

Sequoyah’s alphabet helped thousands of other Cherokee Indians become literate, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians honours him on the tribal reservation in Vonore. At the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, see exhibits on his life and frequent demonstrations of Native American crafts.

Museum in Gray, Tennessee

The Gray Fossil Site & Museum helps visitors understand biodiversity and why it’s so important. View exhibits of the excavation at the 5-acre site, which yielded fossils dating back 5 million years. Explore an interactive rainforest maze, see how sharks replace their lost teeth and learn why species become extinct and what’s being done bout it.

Visit for a full list of Tennessee museums.

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