McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture
The McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture
Backstory and Context
During the 1930s, archaeologists from the Tennessee Valley Authority and the University of Tennessee excavated sixty-two sites across the state. The supervisor of the project, Thomas M. N. Lewis, called for a museum to showcase their findings as early as 1937. Lewis and another archaeologist, Madeline Kneberg, led the effort to found the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee. The department received gifts that added to its archaeological collections, deepening Lewis and Kneberg’s desire for a museum.
In 1955, Lewis and Kneberg’s efforts paid off when Judge John Green and his wife Ellen McClung Green donated funds to build a museum that would be named in honor of her father, Frank H. McClung. A site was chosen, and Lewis served as director with Kneberg as assistant curator until the building was completed in 1961. After their retirement, the museum’s existing collections were named the “Lewis-Kneberg Collection.” Alfred K. Guthe then took over as director, and he oversaw the museum’s official dedication on June 1, 1963. When the Department of Anthropology moved to a new building in 1971, the museum became its own separate unit in the College of Liberal Arts. It has since been accredited and reaccredited by the American Association of Museums.
McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture. Visit Knoxville. Accessed February 13, 2019. https://www.visitknoxville.com/listings/mcclung-museum-of-natural-history-%26-culture/154/.
Flickr user ensign_beedrill. McClung Museum. Flickr. May 02, 2015. Accessed February 13, 2019. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ensignbeedrill/19581031686/. Photo source.