Home Local News Intriguing May Events at the Tennessee State Museum

Intriguing May Events at the Tennessee State Museum

by Cass Teague
Candice Candeto will discuss Tennessee Furniture: Selections from the State Museum Collection on May 16 at TSM.

Enjoy several new programs and exhibitions this month at your Tennessee State Museum.

Saturday, May 11, at 10:30 a.m. Aime Alley Card will discuss her book, “The Tigerbelles: Olympic Legends from Tennessee State” (Lyons Press). “The Tigerbelles” tells the epic story of the 1960 Tennessee State University all-Black women’s track team, which found Olympic glory at the 1960 games in Rome. The author tells a story of desire, success and failure–of beating the odds–against the backdrop of a changing America, but tells it in an intimate way. Readers will come to know the individuals’ unique struggles and triumphs, while also understanding how these dreams emerged and solidified just as the country was struggling to leave the Jim Crow era behind.

Coach Edward Temple pushed each team member to the limit and saw the possibilities in them that they often did not see themselves. The elite group of talent included Wilma Rudolph, Barbara Jones, Lucinda Williams, Martha Hudson, Willye B. White and Shirley Crowder: women who once were and should still be known world-wide.

Ultimately the team’s drive was for more than medals: Coach Temple and the Tigerbelles wanted to change the world’s perception of what a group of young Black women in the Jim Crow south were capable of. Tigerbelles is a multi-layered inspirational tale of triumph over adversity. Based on memoirs and interviews with surviving team members, including Coach Temple, this is the story of an impossible dream come true.

Thursday, May 16, 2024, Senior Curator of Fine Art Candice Candeto will discuss the new exhibition, “Tennessee Furniture: Selections from the State Museum Collection” in a Lunch and Learn: “Furniture: Piecing Together a Story about Tennesseans” presentation at 12 Noon in the Tennessee State Museum Digital Learning Center. She will discuss why furniture is such a vital piece of a dynamic material culture puzzle that helps historians and the Museum understand the lives of Tennesseans.

“Tennessee Furniture: Selections from the State Museum Collection” opened April 20, 2024. Constructed from native woods or imported materials; shipped from factories or made in local shops; crafted by lifelong residents or journeymen passing through, Tennessee furniture tells the story of this place.

Once overlooked in decorative arts scholarship, Tennessee has produced fascinating furniture as a cultural crossroads. Surviving works enrich our understanding of the state and the people who built it—including those whose stories were omitted from written records. “Tennessee Furniture” celebrates the Tennessee State Museum’s collection, reflecting on where scholarship has been and is going. You are invited to discover what Tennessee furniture, from the historic to the contemporary, has to say for new generations.

Mark your calendars for the Tennessee State Museum, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, and Tennessee State Library & Archives campus-wide celebration of Tennessee’s 228th Statehood Day on Saturday, June 1, 2024, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. This free event features activities for families, a keynote speaker, highlight tours of the galleries, and so much more. Don’t miss the celebratory cupcakes in the Grand Hall at the Museum.

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