Tennessee State Museum
The official museum of the state, Tennessee State Museum includes 60,000 square feet of exhibit space for the museum's permanent exhibit which takes visitors through the history of the state from its Native inhabitants to the modern era. There are also several galleries that feature rotating exhibits that go into more depth about specific themes and topics such as women's history, the Civil War, civil rights, and political history. The museum is located on the first few floors of the James K. Polk building in downtown Nashville. The building is also home to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
Backstory and Context
In 1937 the General Assembly created a state museum to house World War I mementos and other collections from the state, the Tennessee Historical Society, and other groups. This museum was located on the lower level of the War Memorial Building until it was moved into the new James K. Polk Center in 1981. The Tennessee State Museum currently occupies three floors, covering approximately 120,000 square feet with more than 60,000 square feet devoted to exhibits.