The Museum of East Tennessee History, operated by the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) in partnership with Knox County Public Library, was presented with six distinguished awards at the 2022 Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) Annual Conference, March 16-18. Winners were announced during an awards ceremony held at the McKinney Center for the Arts in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
The History Headquarters: Interactive Gallery for Children and Families was awarded the 2022 TAM Past Presidents Award, marking the second time the Museum of East Tennessee History has received the Past Presidents Award, Tennessee's highest honor for museum projects. The first award was for the 2018 temporary exhibition, Come to Make Records: Knoxville's Contributions to American Popular Music. Notably, a project from the Museum of East Tennessee History has been nominated for the Past Presidents Award by the TAM Awards Committee each year since the award's establishment in 2015.
History Headquarters was also honored with the 2022 TAM Award of Excellence for a Permanent Exhibition.
History Headquarters Project Partners: State of Tennessee, Knox County Public Library, Haizlip Studio, 1220, and Downtown Knoxville
ETHS's education department also received honors at TAM, with History Detective Kits being awarded the 2022 TAM Award of Excellence for a Specialty/Novelty Item.
The History Detective Kits provide safe and individualized hands-on materials and activities for families to enjoy in the new History Headquarters gallery, as well as to extend the visit into the Voices of the Land signature exhibition.
The Museum of East Tennessee History's temporary exhibition, Shaver - An Artist of Rare Merit, was awarded the 2022 TAM Award of Excellence for a Temporary Exhibition.
Shaver: An Artist of Rare Merit traced Samuel M. Shaver's (1816-1878) maturation through the 19 portraits held by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library. The exhibition was organized on the occasion of three recent Shaver acquisitions, making the East Tennessee History Center the largest repository of the artist's works.
Shaver Project Partners: Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library
ETHS's many programs and family-fun events also received recognition, with the "Night at the Museum" online program garnering the 2022 TAM Award of Excellence for a Special Event.
The “Night at the Museum” virtual event was the Historical Society’s creative answer to COVID-19 cancelations of key programming and events. This program was comprised of engaging pre-recorded elements introduced by live hosts, who highlighted important artifacts in the museum, work of key departments, and honored the organization’s retiring director, Cherel Henderson.
Former ETHS Executive Director Cherel B. Henderson received high honors with the 2022 TAM Award of Excellence for Institutional Impact.
"We are beyond humbled for the work occurring at the East Tennessee History Center to be recognized in this special way by our museum colleagues across the state," said Adam H.
Alfrey, Assistant Director of Historical Services, Knox County Public Library.
"These awards are tangible testaments to the scholarship, creativity, and commitment to public service that result when projects are sourced from public history collections and grounded in collaboration."
2022 TAM Awards listed at the end of this release.
About the Tennessee Association of Museums:
Founded in 1960, the Tennessee Association of Museums fosters communication and cooperation between museums, cultural societies, and other members on matters of common interest to all. Our goal is to inform the public on the importance of understanding and preserving Tennessee's cultural, historical, and scientific heritage. We also encourage publication and dissemination of information on the state's past, as well as the development of professional standards of members who bring that past to the public.
Conference Theme: Trifecta–Recovering, Reconnecting, Responding
Polly Brasher, President, TAM (Discovery Park of America)
Tori Mason, Chair, TAM Awards Committee (Nashville Zoo)
About the East Tennessee Historical Society:
Established in 1834, the East Tennessee Historical Society is widely acknowledged as one of the most active history organizations in the state and enjoys a national reputation for excellence in programming and education. For nearly 200 years, the East Tennessee Historical Society has been helping East Tennesseans hold on to our unique heritage—recording the events, collecting the artifacts, and saving the stories that comprise the history we all share.
2022 TAM Awards Presented to ETHS
2022 TAM Past Presidents Award: History Headquarters
2022 TAM Award of Excellence, Permanent Exhibition: History Headquarters
2022 TAM Award of Excellence, Specialty/Novelty Item: History Detective Kits
2022 TAM Award of Excellence, Temporary Exhibition: Shaver–An Artist of Rare Merit
2022 TAM Award of Excellence, Special Event: Night at the Museum
2022 TAM Award of Excellence, Institutional Impact: Cherel B. Henderson