The Knoxville Museum of Art is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating local East Tennessee artists. A variety of artists, art forms, and themes come together to create an expansive display of permanent and special art attractions within this 53,000 square foot art museum.



The Knoxville Museum of Art was founded in 1961 in the H.L. Dulin House as the Dulin Gallery of Art. Although the Dulin Gallery of Art was housed in a gorgeous Neoclassical Revival styled building, the building proved to have a lack of security and a limited amount of space. This ultimately postponed the American Association of Museums to recognize the Dulin Gallery of Art as a renowned museum.

Due to the American Association of Museums postponement of accreditation, and increasingly large permanent collection, the board of trustees decided to relocate the Dulin Gallery of Art. The board decided to build a new facility at the place that housed the 1982 World’s Fair. Between the board’s vision, and the work from renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, the new facility was a state-of-the-art 53,200 square foot building that opened in the early 1990s. In order to correspond with the change of the museum’s vision, mission, and location, the Dulin Gallery of Art became the Knoxville Museum of Art in 1987.

With over 53,000 square feet of space, it shouldn’t be a surprise the Knoxville Museum of Art has an expansive permanent art collection that represents a variety of artists, art forms, and time periods.

Grand Ambitions explores the development of 19th century Knoxville artists and how they related their work to booming local industries that included lumbering and mineral mining. Two of the highlighted artists include James Cameron and Catherine Wiley.

Lure of the Smokies is an art exhibit dedicated to the time period of 1920 and 1950, when many people migrated to East Tennessee. During this time period, East Tennessee was viewed as a hot location due to the gorgeous Smoky Mountains, and the booming industries that were related to the Smoky Mountains.

Changing Fortunes, Changing Scenes showcases the more conservative influence on art throughout the 1920s. Two of the featured artists in this attraction are Edward Hurst and Charles Rain.

Post-War Revival displays the movement of bold young artists that started within the late 1940s. The young artists that emerged throughout this time period captured the fundamentals of a leading international art style, expressionism. C. Kermit “Buck” Ewing, Walter Stevens, Philip Nichols, and Joanne Higgs Ross are some of the highlighted artists within this exhibit.


Currents: Recent Art from East Tennessee and Beyond is an attraction dedicated to displaying the most recent art developments within East Tennessee and global artists. Since this art exhibit is dedicated to showcasing the newest trends in art, the art displayed is periodically rotated.

Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity is regarded as one of the largest exhibits of its kind in the entire world. This exhibit was commissioned in 2009 with the Knoxville Museum of Art specifically in mind. A combination of glass and steel structures are strung together to create this absolutely stunning and breathtaking exhibit.

Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass features some of the most renowned and innovative glass pieces. This exhibit coincides with the influence and promotion of the Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity exhibit. Above all, this exhibit showcases the growing popularity, significance, and influence of glass art.

Thorne Rooms are miniature diorama groups developed by Mrs. James Ward Thorne from the 1930s to the 1940s. The Thorne Rooms are among the most popular and recognized art exhibits of its kind in America. Aside from being extremely popular, the Thorne Rooms showcase a renowned level of precision and historical significance.

The Knoxville Museum of Art frequently hosts special attractions throughout the year. Since it is still early in the year, the Knoxville Museum of Art currently does not have any special attractions on display. Keep checking the Knoxville Museum of Art’s website for more information about upcoming special attractions.

There are a variety of educational opportunities at the Knoxville Museum of Art that promote the education of the art exhibits on display at the Museum, as well as fundamental art concepts. One of the most popular educational programs at the Knoxville Museum of Art is the various fall and winter workshops that occur on an annual basis.

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1050 Worlds Fair Park Dr, Knoxville, TN 37916, Phone: 865-525-6101

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