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Customs House Museum and Cultural Center features Surrealist

Clarksville's Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterClarksville, TN – Artist Marilyn Murphy is currently featured in the Orgain and Bruner Galleries of Clarksville’s Customs House Museum with the exhibition Short Stories. The twenty-six graphite works bring together futuristic elements married with a sense of nostalgia.

Murphy’s sense of humor is evident in these illustrative happenings through mergings of Southern culture and B-movie sci-fi.

She Sat Next to Herself
She Sat Next to Herself

The artist says of her work: “My drawings in graphite or colored pencil typically include one or two figures involved in an improbable action or working at some curious task. Many of the pieces in this series comment upon the act of seeing, the creative process or some aspect of human experience. Strong lighting and shadows create a sense of mystery while the identities of the men and women are obscured in order to direct the focus of the viewer toward their activity.”

Born in Tulsa, she received her BFA from Oklahoma State University and her MFA from the University of Oklahoma. A Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, her work has been shown in more than 300 exhibitions nationally and abroad.

Cloud Post
Cloud Post

Recently, she had solo exhibitions at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago and Cumberland Gallery in Nashville. In 2004, the Frist Center for the Visual Art had a mid career survey of her paintings, drawings and prints.

She has curated more than 30 exhibitions and her work is in many public and private collections including the Kemper Collection, Huntsville Museum of Art, the Boston Museum School, and the Prudential and Bridgestone Collections.

“Magazines from the 1940’s and early 1950’s often inspire the images I create,” explains Murphy. “Growing up on the Great Plains, I often include the action of the wind in my work. Often the objects are beyond reach or curiously out of human scale to create a dreamlike atmosphere where the objects can be read as symbolic or actual.”

Along with the exhibition, Murphy will present a gallery talk on April 6th, as part of the museum’s monthly Art & Lunch programs. Paul Polycarpou, Editor and CEO of Nashville Arts Magazine, will join Marilyn for the Q&A presentation. The event is free to the public.

For information on this exhibition contact Terri Jordan, Exhibits Curator, at

About the Customs House Museum

Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterLocated in the heart of historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is the State’s second largest general museum. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1898 as a U.S. Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade. Incorporating a number of architectural styles, the original structure is one of the most photographed buildings in the region.

With over 35,000 square feet of the region’s best hands-on activities and special events…people of all ages agree – the Customs House Museum is well worth the stop!

The Explorer’s Gallery is packed with fun, learning and fantasy in Aunt Alice’s Attic, McGregor’s Market and kitchen, and of course – the Bubble Cave! Finally, get “all aboard” to see our fantastic model trains. Our volunteer engineers “ride the rails” every Sunday afternoon from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

Regular museum hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sundays. Adult admission is $7.00, Senior Citizens and College ID $5.00, Ages 6 to 18 $3.00, and under six years and Museum members are free.

The Customs House Museum is located at 200 South Second Street. For more information, call 931.648.5780 or visit their website at www.customshousemuseum.org


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