The life of a tree is influenced by the world around it; growth rings tell the story. Within the first few years of life, a tree may experience severe drought or an overabundance of rain. Each of these events is recorded within the tree. Drought and disease, flooding and lack of sunlight, major weather events – all leave evidence behind in the form of ring spacing and coloration. Hidden in plain sight is the accurately recorded history of mankind all around us in the trees.
An example of this can be seen in this new exhibition with the display of both an American chestnut cup and a large redbay globe. Each of these tree species has an interesting and diverse history. The American chestnut tree is virtually extinct in our region due to a blight which causes a bark fungus. The introduction of an Asian chestnut tree brought this fungus to the United States. This species no longer exists widely in nature, and yet on display is an example of the story of a chestnut tree.
The redbay globe is a second example of a species on the verge of extinction. Growing along the borders of swampy lands in the South, redbay trees are being scoured by the introduction of a beetle which carries a different type of fungus. The size of the globe on display is potentially the largest that will ever be seen.
In the years since we became a museum in 1926 we have collected many great works of art along with all of the furniture and other items. So we have taken the time to select some of the best of what we have to best represent our collection and are now displaying them for the enjoyment of our visitors and guests.
The majority of the exhibit is portraits. Given the number of famous people associated with the site we have some great ones to share. There are copies of both William and Willie Blount’s official Governors portraits done by Tennessee artist Sarah Ward Conley. Another is a striking portrait of General Washington’s Chief of Artillery during the Revolution, General Henry Knox. He was Secretary of War in the 1790’s and Governor Blount’s boss. He is also the man whom Knoxville is named for.
The following article by David Ress ran April 22, 2011 on the NewsLeader.com. VERONA — She made the best butter around, sold potato chips on the streets of Staunton and let her eyes drink in the beauty of the Valley, which captured New York native Grandma Moses’ heart as a newlywed on an overnight train […]
FDR’s government established several agencies to give relief to unemployed artists during the Depression. The Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture (later known as The Section of Fine Arts) was established in October of 1934 to provide decoration for New Deal structures, most commonly post offices and courthouses. Art created by “The Section” is […]
Howard Finster (ca. 1915-2001) described himself as a Stranger from Another World, a Messenger from God, a Man of Visions, a second Noah, and God’s Last Red Light on Planet Earth. This unlikely candidate for celebrity status on the post-modern art scene became known to millions of people by the end of his life. His […]