Clarksville, TN – The Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is located in historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee. Come explore an entire city block featuring large gallery spaces filled with fine art, science and history.
Some of the events in February at the Museum are: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Lucy Dunwody Boehm Porcelain Collection, Apron Strings: Ties to the Past, Reimagined Lore: The Art of Tara Swalgren, I Have a Voice: Traveling Exhibition from Tennessee State Museum, Serepta Jordan: From the Collection, and Family Fun Learning: A Salute to the Model Train Crew.
Customs House Museum Exhibits
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Lucy Dunwody Boehm Porcelain Collection
February 23rd–May 3rd | Crouch Gallery | Sponsored by Fred & Judy Landiss
Edward Marshall Boehm, with no formal art training, started his porcelain studio in Trenton, New Jersey in 1950. The works he created have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Great Britain’s royal family, and President and Mrs. Richard M. Nixon, among others.
Many of his bird figures were designed after the live animals at the Boehm aviary and gardens on the Delaware River. The Customs House Museum & Cultural Center has one of the largest collections in the Southeast. We’ll celebrate the 25 year anniversary of the collection by displaying it in its entirety with an exhibition in the Crouch Gallery sponsored by Judy and Fred Landiss, founders of the Customs House Museum’s Lucy Dunwody Boehm Porcelain Collection.
Apron Strings: Ties to the Past
January 25th–March 16th | Jostens Gallery
Apron Strings: Ties to the Past reviews the apron’s role as an emotionally charged vehicle for expression with a rich and varied craft history that is still relevant today. Featuring aprons dating from the 1900s through the present, the exhibition chronicles changing attitudes toward women and domestic work.
It also surveys the wide range of design and craft techniques apron-makers have used to express themselves, while still working within creative venues traditionally available to women. This is a program of ExhibitsUSA and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Reimagined Lore: The Art of Tara Swalgren
January 14th–May 5th | Orgain Gallery
This animal-themed mixed media exhibition showcases the work of local artist and Austin Peay State University graduate Tara Swalgren. She is currently an art instructor at Madsion Street Art & Music Academy in Clarksville. Swalgren explains, “I want to create these intricate and beautiful creatures that we only see and hear about in folk lore or our fantasies. I want to bring them into our reality, our view. To allow us to gaze upon something so fantastical that it can only be made through art.”
I Have a Voice: Traveling Exhibition from Tennessee State Museum
January 14th–March 29th | Memory Lane
The exhibition, on loan from the Tennessee State Museum, gives a snapshot of Tennessee’s rich African American musical heritage and its influence on worldwide music. The exhibit gives visitors a chance to hear the voices of the many Tennessee African American men and women who made their mark on American music from ragtime to Motown.
Serepta Jordan: From the Collection
January 14th–March 1st | Lower Level Foyer
Serepta Mildred Jordan was born January 27th, 1839 in New Providence, Tennessee. Jordan started a journal around 1857, when she was 18. She continued writing in her journal until 1864, close to the end of the Civil War. The journal, recently restored, is featured in the exhibition along with photos and a collection of Jordan’s personal belongings.
Explorations in Color: Tennessee Women of Glass
January 8th–March 1st | Kimbrough Gallery
This exhibition features more than 30 works created by seven women artists working in glass. Artists Betty Turner, Sam Simms, Tammy O’Connor, Mary Beth McClure, Yvette Campagna, Alice Shepard, and Meredith Edmondson will have their glasswork on display.
Sher Fick: Imitation of Life
January 7th–March 30th | Bruner Gallery
Sher Fick brings her carefully crafted assemblages—works inspired by her spinal cord surgery. Fick was the inaugural artist at Seed Space for Experimental Art & Dialogue in Nashville, TN. Fick was one of nine female artists in TAKE CARE: Biomedical Ethics in the 21st Century, a traveling exhibition featured at The Pool Art Fair, during Art Basel–Miami and ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI. She has exhibited in select museum, solo, and juried exhibitions since 2001.
Tom Malone: Works on Paper from the Museum Collection
Gifted by Charlsie & John Halliburton
January 3rd–March 1st | Harvill Gallery
See works on paper by beloved Clarksville resident Tom Malone. Malone studied at Austin Peay State University from 1971-1972 and continued art classes in 1974-1975. This series includes 10 portraits. Malone died in 1998 as a result of an aneurism.
Programs and Events
Little Explorers: Groundhog’s Day Play Fridays
February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th | Explorers’ Landing Drop-in between 10:30am–11:30am
Free with paid admission or membership | Ages 2 – 5 with adult
Will the groundhog see its shadow? We don’t know, but your little ones will have fun participating in activities that are associated with Groundhog’s Day. Experiment with shadow science using flashlights, cut-out animal silhouettes, and your own body. Explore the groundhog sensory bin, play a game where you match the groundhog to its shadow, and create a cute craft that lets you make the groundhog pop in and out of its burrow.
WARNING: Activities include items that may be a choking hazard. All parents must supervise their children.
Hands-On Explorers: Launch Into Fun with Catapults!
Saturdays, February 1st & 15th | Family Art Studio Drop-in between 2:00pm–4:00pm
Free with paid admission or membership | Grades K & above with adult
National Engineer’s Week is observed in February. During the Middle Ages, catapults were designed for use during battles, shooting rocks and hot tar into castles. Catapults are still used today to launch jets from aircraft carriers that have limited runway space.
Catapult your creativity as you engage with the science and engineering of catapults. Build your own simple catapult using craft sticks, and send pom-poms and ping-pong balls flying. Can you hit the target and knock down a tower of emoji paper cups? Experiment and make predictions using different variables in your design and projectiles—what can you do to create more force?
What affects the accuracy of your launch? Each participant will be able to take home their catapult and either a pom-pom or a ping- pong ball.
Family Fun Learning: A Salute to the Model Train Crew
Sunday, February 16th | Family Art Studio Drop-in between 1:00pm–4:00pm
Free with paid admission or membership | For all ages at parent’s discretion
Join us in the Coca-Cola Café for some tasty, kid-friendly snacks as we say a great big “Thank You” to this group of volunteers who have kept the model trains running for 32 years! Help us say “Thank You” by joining us this Sunday for snacks and conversation about the trains with the people who maintain and run them. Since its beginning, the model train exhibit has been funded, run, and maintained solely by volunteers.
Our engineers are always eager to discuss ways others can help with the Museum’s most popular interactive exhibits.
First Thursday Art Walk
Thursday, February 6th | 5:00pm–7:00pm
The Museum is open to the public with free admission as part of Downtown Clarksville’s First Thursday Art Walk.
Second Saturday Free Admission Day
Saturday, February 8th | 10:00am–5:00pm
The Museum is open to the public with free admission all day from 10:00am–5:00pm as part of our monthly Second Saturday Free Admission Day.
Seasons: The Museum Store
February Jewelry Sale
Enjoy 10% off (members receive 20% off) all jewelry purchased during the month of February at Seasons: The Museum Store. Offer ends February 29th, 2020.
The Customs House Museum & Cultural Center will be closed Monday, February 17th, 2020 in observance of Presidents’ Day.
About the Customs House Museum
Located 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