Our family has been visiting art museums since the kids were small and we make it a priority to visit a new museum as often as possible. Over the Christmas break, we took a quick trip over to Chattanooga and spent some time at the Hunter Museum of American Art. If you are in the Chattanooga area, this historic museum is a definite must-see on your city visit. Here are my top 5 tips to help you make the most of your next visit.
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Hunter Museum of American Art
Appreciate the Views
A visit to the Hunter Museum of American Art starts in the 21st-century waterfront building that was built in 2005. In this wing, you will find the Museum Store, the temporary exhibits, and an amazing view of the Tennessee River.
As you enter the museum, you move through the large glass atrium and go upstairs to the temporary exhibits. Make sure you take a few minutes to walk out on the terrace for the Tennesse river overlook.
Talk to the Experts
Take the time to talk to the museum docents. They are a wealth of information about the current exhibits. We always love to ask one question to the museum docents when we visit an art museum – “What is your favorite piece in the museum?” Getting this personal response is a great place to start your visit.
As you finish viewing the temporary exhibits, you will move into the middle section of the museum with the permanent exhibits.
Interact with Exhibits
My top favorite place in each art museum are the immersive art exhibits. I love being able to enter into a piece of art and not just view a painting or sculpture. There are two of these immersive art exhibits as you enter the permanent exhibits at Hunter Museum of American Art. Mirror V by James Seawright is probably one of the most shared images in the entire museum. There’s absolutely no way to walk past this installation without taking multiple pictures from every angle.
The second of my favorite interactive exhibits is Selﬁsh Gene Mirror, an immersive piece of art by Daniel Rozin. Using different ‘mirrors’ that reflect and remake the viewer using various artistic brushstrokes, you will find yourself the subject of an impressionist style exhibit.
The first question I ask when I get tickets to an art museum is whether photography is allowed. There are very definite rules for photos at many museums, and I definitely want to follow the rules. At Hunter Museum of American Art, pictures are not only allowed but also encouraged. Turn off your flash and take pictures so you can share your experience.
Share your favorite picture using hashtags #HUNTERMUSEUM #MUSEUMSELFIE.
Another great reason to use your camera is so you can remember what you see. My husband always takes pictures of the artist and description so he can reference them later. There are so many exhibits that it is easy to forget what you see.
The Hunter Museum of American Art includes 100 years of architecture and the most complete collection of American art in the Southeast. The collection spans from the colonial period to present day and covers a wide variety of media including painting, sculpture, contemporary studio glass, and crafts.Hunter Museum of Art
Tour the Mansion
As you walk through the museum, you will visit the original 1904 mansion which has housed the museum since its opening in 1952. Whether you take the stairs or the elevator into the main portion of the Mansion, don’t miss the staircase with the crocheted red doilies.
Ashley V. Blalock – BRIDGING THE HUNTER
ON VIEW JANUARY 8, 2021 – JULY 11, 2022
San Diego-based artist Ashley V. Blalock is best known for her enormous crocheted red doilies. Her works fuse craft and fine art and are inspired by everyday artifacts from the domestic sphere.
The fireplaces, hardwood floors, wall moldings, and hand-carved woodwork are all original, as are sconces and fixtures over the Grand Staircase.
The top floor of the Mansion has several rooms with art, history and even an interactive art studio where you can create your own masterpiece.
After you finish your tour of the Hunter Museum of American Art, take the time to enjoy the Walnut Street Walking Bridge and outdoor sculpture garden.
Have you ever visited the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga? What is your favorite exhibit?
Hours & Admission
10 Bluff View
Chattanooga, TN 37403
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