The Hunter Museum of American Art celebrates 70 years

The Hunter Museum of American Art celebrates 70 years of operation. | Photo by @zippydj

Happy Anniversary to the Hunter Museum of American Art, 70 looks great on you

The Hunter Museum of American Art is named after George Thomas Hunter who founded the Benwood Foundationa private charitable trust still in operation today

Following Hunter’s death in 1950, the Chattanooga Art Association approached the Benwood Foundation to ask for the Faxon-Hunter mansion to be donated + turned into an art museum. 

In 1952, the George Thomas Hunter Gallery of Art opened to the public as Chattanooga’s first art museum.

Now at the start of 2022, the museum is celebrating 70 years of operation. To commemorate this milestone, the museum will celebrate with a focus on collecting

The anniversary theme kicks off with “Beyond the Frame: Celebrating 70 Years of Collecting,” an exhibition that showcases a wide range of the Hunter’s American art collection, which spans the 1700s to the present.

The Hunter owns almost 3,000 works now, but of course, it wasn’t always that way. This exhibit explores the behind-the-scenes world of museum art collecting by looking at the how + why a piece of art is chosen to be a part of the collection. Plus, it will feature a spotlight on some of the museum’s most prized pieces of art.

“Beyond the Frame” will be on display to the public from Jan. 28-May 1, 2022. A special member opening event will take place the evening of Jan. 27.

“A Stream Beneath Poplars” by Lilla Cabot Perry is one of the works on display for “Beyond the Frame.” | Photo via The Hunter Museum of American Art

Beginning in May, the museum will shift focus to “Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration,” organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA and featuring nearly 100 works of art.

“Enchanted” will be on display to the public from May 2-Sept. 5, 2022.

To round the year out, the museum will present “Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art,” a private collection that includes 62 works that have been accumulated over 35 years by Kerry and Betty Davis.

“Memories & Inspiration” will be on display to the public from Sept. 30, 2022-Jan. 8, 2023.