The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will open a new Community Gallery space on February 23 dedicated to showcasing collaborations between the museum and partners across the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus, and beyond. The new gallery is made possible by generous support from the UT Division of Diversity and Engagement and Nancy and Charlie Wagner.
With this new gallery, the museum will house a flexible space where partners from on and off campus can showcase museum-related research, projects, art, and other creative works. Overseen by the museum education team, the gallery will feature a different exhibition each semester reflecting the McClung’s ongoing work with the public.
“Since I joined the campus in 2018, UT students have asked for a site within the museum to reflect their work and experiences. The Community Gallery will provide such a space,” said Katy Malone, manager of education & community engagement and curator of academic programs at the museum. “Launching the gallery with an exhibition celebrating mentorship aligns with the McClung’s own reflection of its past and our new strategic vision for the future. We are thrilled to see the Student Board’s curatorial debut.”
The Community Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Let Me Tell You About…, is curated by the McClung Museum’s Student Advisory Board. The student-led exhibition will feature photos and stories of everyday individuals who have made an extraordinary impact on the lives of people at UT. Over 125 participants have joined the open call from across campus, each one highlighting a friend, family member, or mentor that positively affected their lives.
“The Division of Diversity and Engagement (DDE) is grateful for our longstanding partnership with the McClung Museum and offer our congratulations on the opening of the new Community Gallery. We look forward to its first installation, Let Me Tell You About…,” stated Tyvi Small, vice chancellor for DDE. “In addition, we congratulate the McClung Student Advisory Board for its curatorial debut with this upcoming exhibition.”
The Community Gallery will be installed in the space where The Battle of Fort Sanders: November 29, 1863 exhibition, created by former Civil War History Curator Joan Markel, was on display for more than 15 years. With the updated gallery, the space will take on a new life dedicated to public and student-centered displays. Items in The Battle of Fort Sanders exhibition will be on view at the McClung through January 15, 2023, before being transferred to the East Tennessee Historical Society.
“The creation of this new gallery will not only provide space to showcase the talents and research of our campus and community but will also build on the McClung Museum's relationship with the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS),” said McClung Museum Executive Director Claudio Gómez. “Transferring items from Battle of Fort Sanders to ETHS will give these pieces a new home in the expert care of their collections.”
In early 2023, the McClung Museum will launch an online version of The Battle of Fort Sanders featuring historical content, maps, and photographs from the exhibition.
Learn more about the new gallery or plan your visit to the museum at mcclungmuseum.utk.edu.
The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus. Admission and parking are free, and the museum’s hours are Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 12–4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to pre-register for free museum tickets at tiny.utk.edu/visitmcclung.