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Customs House Museum and Cultural Center celebrates Women’s Suffrage, Twenty Years of Cumberland Furniture Guild

Customs House Museum & Cultural CenterClarksville, TN – August has been a month of exciting change exhibit-wise at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center. Two new, highly anticipated exhibitions are now up for the public to visit: The Power of Women: Celebrating the Suffrage Movement and Practice Makes Perfect: Twenty Years of the Cumberland Furniture Guild.

This month the country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, and Clarksville has plenty of history to share on the subject.

Practice Makes Perfect: Twenty Years of the Cumberland Furniture Guild
Practice Makes Perfect: Twenty Years of the Cumberland Furniture Guild

The Power of Women, sponsored in part by Planters Bank and The National Archives, tells the story of the 19th Amendment and highlights several local women who held prominent roles at the time.

A couple of the women highlighted include Sue Shelton White, a suffragist, equal rights advocate, attorney and writer born in Henderson, Tennessee, and Brenda Runyon, founder and director of the first bank in the United States run completely by women.

“Brenda Runyon was pivotal to the advancement of women in Clarksville during that period,” explains Terri Jordan, Customs House Museum and Cultural Center Exhibits Curator. “Under her direction, the First Women’s Bank opened downtown in 1919. She was an advocate for women to begin saving and investing.”

The Power of Women: Celebrating the Suffrage Movement
The Power of Women: Celebrating the Suffrage Movement

The exhibit also showcases the maquette for the Tennessee Triumph (Tennie) monument that was unveiled in Downtown Clarksville on August 15th. The Clarksville Arts and Heritage Development Council, together with the Tennessee Triumph Steering Committee, fundraised and organized the monument’s creation and recognized the 100th anniversary with a suffrage parade prior to the monument unveiling.

Inside Seasons: The Museum Store, several suffrage-related items are on sale for a limited time, including “Tennie” buttons and Arts for Hearts yellow, rose boutonnieres. The Power of Women can be seen through October 28th.

On the other side of the Museum, Practice Makes Perfect, on display through October 23rd, showcases 30 exquisite pieces of creative craftmanship in furniture design. The show includes juried works as well as extraordinary pieces completed over the last twenty years by members of the Cumberland Furniture Guild. Visitors will be amazed by the reimagining of everyday objects like chairs and benches.



“We have several benches in the show – all very different in style. Wyatt Severs’ bench, which appears to have bricks bursting through the top, is a must-see,” Jordan comments. “There’s also Greg Pennington’s popular writing chair made of walnut and white oak. The Windsor chair is as much a sculpture as it is a functional seat.”

In the Jostens Gallery, visitors will find a new exhibit showcasing artwork from Darlene Shadden. Shadden is based out of Nashville, Tennessee, and works in pastels, charcoals and acrylics. Her show is on display through September 21st.

Military Show
Military Show

Also new to the Museum this month is a joint exhibit with the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone. This exhibit showcases local artists who are also veterans and military family members. You can see these unique and personal pieces of work through the end of August.

More information on other exhibits can be found at www.customshousemuseum.org


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 Tuesday through Friday 11:00am–4:00pm, closed 1:00pm-2:00pm for sanitizing, and Sundays 1:00pm–4:00pm. 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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