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Tennessee State Museum Offers Three Lunch & Learn Lectures before May 6 Closing

Lectures on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the history of the State Museum, and the Cumberland River wrap up Museum's spring offerings.
Friday, April 13, 2018 | 09:11am
MLK Andrew Jackson Cumberland River

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — April 13, 2018 — Tennessee State Museum will present three free Lunch & Learn lectures in April and May before it closes in its current location. The Museum will reopen in October in its brand new building on Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville. Lunch & Learn lectures will focus on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (April 19), the history of the Tennessee State Museum (April 26), and in a special event at the Nashville Bridge Building, the Cumberland River (May 3). Information about all three events is below. The Museum will host a  "Pack the Wagon" closing party on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and officially close at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 6. Information on the closing party is at


Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 12:15 p.m., Tennessee State Museum (505 Deaderick St., Nashville. 615-741-2692)

Ms. Linda Wynn, assistant director at the Tennessee Historical Commission, and a prominent scholar on Civil Rights history, will present the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The talk coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The presentation will reflect on Dr. King’s accomplishments and the impact he has made on society.  


Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 12:15 p.m., Tennessee State Museum (505 Deaderick St., Nashville. 615-741-2692)

Did you know the origins of the Tennessee State Museum are 200 years old? TSM Director of Collections Dan Pomeroy will present the history of the State Museum and its collection, beginning with the first exhibit in Nashville in 1818. The program will feature images of the Museum from the past two centuries, including the time it was housed in War Memorial Building. During this era, 1930s until about 1980, exhibits featured a wide variety of artifacts and objects, ranging from a polar bear to an Egyptian mummy. This will be the last lunchtime lecture at the Museum’s current location before it moves to a monumental new building on the Tennessee Bicentennial Mall in the fall of 2018. 


Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 12:00 p.m., Bridge Building (2 Victory Ave, Ste. 300, Nashville, Tennessee 37213)

Although not as large as the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, the Cumberland River has been no less important as a transportation network. As part of the larger “super-highway” network of which the former are gems of this network, the Cumberland has served as an integral transportation route since humans have inhabited Tennessee. It is no accident that Nashville was built on the Cumberland, because even during pre-Columbian times, the area was the center of a sizeable salt industry, its salt springs attracted plentiful game, and its flood plains provided for excellent soil for farming. Like any highway, the river was a convenient route that brought prosperity but also misfortune and environmental changes. Tennessee State Museum Curator of Social History, Graham Perry, will give historic context to this beautiful waterway that flows through the center of our city.

The State Museum’s Lunch & Learn series is a chance for participants to eat a brown bag lunch while learning about Tennessee history. Presentations begin at 12:15 p.m. and last about 30 minutes. All programs are FREE to the public and take place on Level B of the State Museum in front of the stage. For those unable to attend the Lunch and Learn, the event will be Livestreamed on the Tennessee State Museum’s Facebook Page.

About the Tennessee State Museum:
The Tennessee State Museum was established by law in 1937 “to bring together the various collections of articles, specimens, and relics now owned by the State under one divisional head,” and “to provide for a transfer of exhibits wherever they may be.” 

Today, the Tennessee State Museum is housed in the James K. Polk building in downtown Nashville, where it has been for nearly 37 years. Gov. Bill Haslam proposed and the Tennessee General Assembly approved $120 million in the FY-2015-16 budget to build a new home for the Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Mall to maximize the state’s rich history by creating a state-of-the-art educational asset and tourist attraction for the state. The governor also announced that $40 million would be raised in private funds for the project.

A 140,000 square foot facility is being built on the northwest corner of the Bicentennial Mall at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street to tell Tennessee’s story by showcasing one-of-a-kind artifacts, art and historical documents in an interactive and engaging way. More information on the museum can be found at

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Joe Pagetta
Director of Communications
Direct: (615) 741-5134

Tennessee State Museum
Ashley Howell, Executive Director

1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN 37208
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