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HomeEventsClarksville's Customs House Museum May 2021 Exhibits, Activities

Clarksville’s Customs House Museum May 2021 Exhibits, Activities

The Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterClarksville, 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 May at the Museum are Richard Sloan’s Birds of the Southeast, Annual Staff Art Exhibit, Susan Bryant: 7 Chapters from A Book About Light, Larry Hughes: A Walk in the Parks, The Electrification of the TVA.

Customs House Museum and Cultural Center
Customs House Museum and Cultural Center

Customs House Museum Exhibits

Richard Sloan’s Birds of the Southeast
May 3rd–July 18th | Kimbrough Gallery

Richard Sloan’s careful attention to detail is captured in his exquisite illustrations of Southeastern birds. Once a staff illustrator at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Sloan’s work has been collected by the Smithsonian Institution among others. This collection of illustrations was donated to the Museum by Mr. & Mrs. Carl Eisemann.

Annual Staff Art Exhibit
May 1st–June 27th | Lobby

The annual staff art exhibit showcases the creative work of those who work behind-the-scenes at the Museum. Each piece reveals the unique personalities of the artists, special moments in their lives and their inspirations.

Susan Bryant: 7 Chapters from A Book About Light
A 40-Year Retrospective of Photographs
April 27th–July 25th | Crouch Gallery

View the “7 Chapters” that represent the diverse processes Susan Bryant uses to create her expressive photographs. Her work includes gelatin silver prints, hand-colored silver prints, digital photographs, daguerreotypes, and ambrotypes. Bryant has taught at Austin Peay State University (APSU) for 30 years and her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S.

Curiosities: Objects from the Museum Collection
Through June 27th | Jostens Gallery

Take a gander at an assortment of perplexing objects pulled from the Museum shelves; their uses may not be obvious at first look. Can you guess the function of these items from the past?



Larry Hughes: A Walk in the Parks
Through July 18th | Bruner & Orgain Galleries

Larry Hughes is a Memphis-based artist working primarily in watercolor, drawing media, and oil. With deep roots in Arizona and California, his primary artistic interests turn to western wilderness areas, particularly the Grand Canyon, the Sonoran Desert, the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas, and Northern New Mexico, where he works en plein air to support later studio work.

Mike Egan: Modern Pop
Through May 30th | Harvill Gallery

Mike Egan’s work is often themed in death, with a stylized nod to Mexican folk art and pop. While in school, Mike became enamored with German Expressionism and printmaking. After receiving his degree from Edinboro University, Mike worked in the funeral home business while developing his painting genre. His work has since been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions from New York to L.A.

Helping Americans Help Themselves: 140 Years of the Red Cross
Through July 18th | Kimbrough Gallery

Celebrating 140 years of the American Red Cross through artifacts, photos, and local stories. The American Red Cross works to rebuild lives and communities after disaster strikes. Read the valiant stories of the beginning of the local Red Cross chapter created in 1917, national humanitarian efforts, and wide-spread volunteerism.

The Electrification of the TVA
Through June 20th | Memory Lane

Take a look back at the history of the Tennessee Valley Authority and how electricity changed lives, especially for those living on farms.


Museum Events

Saturday Hours
Beginning May 1st, the Museum will resume normal hours of operation, including opening on Saturdays. The Museum will be open Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10:00am–5:00pm, and Sundays, 1:00pm-5:00pm. The Museum will no longer close mid-day for cleaning.

The Big Payback
May 5th, 6:00pm-May 6th, 6:00pm

The Museum is participating in The Big Payback, a 24-hour online giving day for Middle Tennessee nonprofits. The Musuem aims to reach at least $7,500 in total donations during the fundraiser. All donations support the Museum in creating educational programming for children and adults, preserving our historical collection, and supporting our award-winning exhibitions. Early donations open on April 28th at 6:00pm and the donations can be given online through May 6th at 6:00pm at www.thebigpayback.org/CustomsHouseMuseum

¡La Gran Payback! Fundraising Event
May 5th, 5:00pm-8:00pm

To celebrate the Big Payback in tandem with Cinco de Mayo, the Museum is hosting a fiesta-style event that is FREE and open to the public. Join us for Linell’s food truck, drinks, festive music, and free Museum admission! You will be able to donate to The Big Payback at the event.

First Thursday Art Walk
May 6th, 5:00pm–8:00pm pm

The Museum will have free admission during First Thursday Art Walk Clarksville from 5:00pm–8:00pm.  

140th Anniversary American Red Cross Blood Drive
May 21st, 10:00am–3:00pm

May 21st is the 140th anniversary of the American Red Cross. To celebrate, the Museum and local Red Cross are hosting a series of blood drives that are open to the public. Each donor will be entered in a drawing for 1 FREE annual Museum membership. Call 1.800.RED.CROSS (1.800.733.2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter “CustomsHouse” to schedule an appointment.



Fifth Saturday Donation Day
May 29th, 10:00am–5:00pm

Fifth Saturday is Donation Day! Any month with five Saturdays, on the fifth Saturday any monetary donation to the Museum is your admission. All donations directly support the Museum in creating educational programming for children and adults, preserving our historical collection, and supporting our award-winning exhibitions. 

Museum Programs

Museum Discovery Quest
Free with membership or paid admission | Developed for school-age children
Free Take It N’ Make It Activity

Museum Discovery Quests are self-guided adventures that offer a fun exploration through the Museum. Kids can experience exhibits and artifacts in new and entertaining ways that pique their curiosity and captivate their attention. The theme changes regularly. Bonus: Complete the MDQ and receive a free Take It N’ Make It activity packet to create a fun project at home.

Huff & Puff Express Model Trains
Exhibit open daily | Volunteer Train Crew members run trains Sundays, 1:00–4:00pm and Wednesdays, 10:00am–12:00pm

Enjoy one of the largest model railroad layouts in the region boasting a miniature castle, UFO, and scenic landscape. Interact with the miniature world by making automobiles move and helicopters fly. The model train exhibit is open daily and themes change every season.

Seasons: The Museum Store

Mother’s Day Sale
Offer expires May 31st, 2021

Celebrate mom this month with a special gift from Seasons! Receive 20% off your purchase when you show the Museum’s Mother’s Day postcard at checkout.

Astronomy Week Sale
Offer good May 10th–May 15th, 2021

National Astronomy Week starts on May 10th, and Seasons is celebrating with 25% off all science-related items. Create your own solar system diorama, project the night sky onto your bedroom walls, and more with brand new items at Seasons!


Summer Membership Promo

50% Off All New, Renewal and Gift Memberships
Offer good May 1st–June 30th, 2021

Kick off your summer with a membership to your Museum! Prior to the pandemic, the Museum was about to hit a huge milestone – 1,000 memberships. Help the Museum reach our goal of 1,000 memberships in 2021 by renewing your membership, buying a new one, or gifting one to a friend or family member. All memberships of any level are 50% off through June 30. Current members may take advantage of this promotion by renewing early.

Holiday Closings

Memorial Day
Museum offices will be closed on Monday, May 31st, 2021 for Memorial Day.

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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