NASHVILLE, TN – May 20, 2020 – The Tennessee State Museum has received prestigious recognition from two major national museum organizations. The museum has been re-accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition signifying excellence afforded the nation’s museums. In addition, the museum is a recipient of an Award of Excellence from The American Association for State and Local History for its 2019-20 exhibition, “Let’s Eat! Origins and Evolutions of Tennessee Food.” The American Association for State and Local History Leadership in History Awards is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
Originally accredited in 2003, the Tennessee State Museum’s re-accreditation comes more than a year-and-a-half after the museum opened in its new location at Rosa L. Parks Blvd and Jefferson St., at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville. From October 2018 through February 2020, approximately 275,439 visitors came to the museum and Military Branch of the Museum, including 56,257 students and adults through field trips and group tours. In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the museum opened and closed four temporary exhibitions in that time, including “Let’s Eat! Origins and Evolutions of Tennessee Food.” It is readying its latest, “Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote,” for when the museum reopens to the public.
Complementing its exhibitions, it has hosted dozens of events, lectures, panel discussions and film screenings. Through its statewide education outreach, the museum offers schools and cultural organizations throughout the state access to its Traveling Trunks program and traveling exhibitions. In its first year in its new location, 55,307 students were served through the Traveling Trunks program.
The American Alliance of Museums Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, over 1,070 are currently accredited. The Tennessee State Museum is one of only 17 museums accredited in Tennessee.
“Let’s Eat! Origins and Evolutions of Tennessee Food” ran from Aug. 9, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020. Curated by Rob DeHart, who recently received a Merit Award from the Tennessee Historical Commission for his work on the exhibition, it explored the state’s food traditions from its Southeastern Indian origins to the influence of West African and West European cultural groups to the contribution of more recent immigrants and contemporary food festival celebrations. Stories were told though artifacts from the museum’s collection, digital storytelling, graphics, location photography and generous programming.
About Tennessee State Museum
The Tennessee State Museum, on the corner of Rosa L Parks Blvd. and Jefferson Street at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, is home to 13,000 years of Tennessee art and history. Through six permanent exhibitions titled Natural History, First Peoples, Forging a Nation, The Civil War and Reconstruction, Change and Challenge and Tennessee Transforms, the Museum takes visitors on a journey – through artifacts, films, interactive displays, events and educational programing – from the state’s geological beginnings to the present day. Additional temporary exhibitions explore significant periods and individuals in history, along with art and cultural movements.
For more information, visit www.tnmuseum.org.
About American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.
About American Association for State and Local History
The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all people. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and maintains numerous affinity communities and committees serving a broad range of constituents across the historical community. The association also sponsors an annual meeting, regional and national training in-person workshops, and online training.
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