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DrawnAn innovative new exhibition featuring work by twenty-eight contemporary artists who produced original prints based on objects from the permanent collections of the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture opens Thursday, January 22.

By pairing selected objects with their related prints, Drawn from the McClung Museum examines how art, science and culture are perceived and interpreted in museums. The exhibition will run through May 24.

The fifty-eight objects and prints on view explore how museums collect and the ways in which these collections might be interpreted. They also examine the role of the museum itself as a cultural institution today. The prints, created by internationally known US and Canadian artists, are inspired by objects as varied as an Egyptian ibis mummy and a Victorian hair necklace.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring so many incredible artists together for this exhibition,” said museum curator Catherine Shteynberg. “The resulting prints are not only very different in their styles and mediums but also in the personal interpretations artists bring to the objects from the McClung’s collections. The exhibit gives us a unique opportunity to use the museum in the most meaningful and exciting way—as a space for dialogue about what culture and history mean to different people.”

Highlights of Drawn include Mark Dion’s Phantoms of Lost Museums—a mock cabinet of curiosities pondering the broad spectrum of objects that have ended up in the McClung’s collections; Lynne Allen’s Bishop’s Cope/Ghost Shirt, which highlights the shared spiritual power of Native American and Western sacred dress; Mark Bovey’s investigation of the horrifying consequences of war as evidenced by the scars on a Civil War-era canteen in …as we would walk over and over…; Sydney A. Cross’s use of a fossilized mastodon jaw to warn of the dire situation of the modern-day African elephant in Extinction; and UT Art Professor Beauvais Lyons’ documentation of an imagined nineteenth-century pottery studio that could have manufactured a pitcher in the museum’s collections in Goatman Pottery.

Other artists featured in the exhibition include B. J. Alumbaugh, Ed Bernstein, Sean Caulfield, Aaron S. Coleman, Deborah Cornell, Maggie Denk-Leigh, Holly Greenberg, Fred Hagstrom, Adrianne Herman, John Hitchcock, Emmy Lingscheit, Phyllis McGibbon, Ayanah Moor, Althea Murphy-Price, Dennis O’Neil, Endi Poskovic, John Risseeuw, Geo Sipp, Tanja Softić, Ericka Walker, Art Werger, Koichi Yamamoto, and Melanie Yazzie.

The exhibition was created in collaboration with the School of Art. It is being held in conjunction with the SGC International Printmaking Conference in March, which will bring 1,500 printmakers to Knoxville from around the world.

Several exhibit-related family programs are planned. They include Family Fun Days on February 28 and April 18 and a Stroller Tour for parents, caregivers, and young children on March 9.

An artist panel discussion featuring artist-in-residence Tanja Softić will be held on February 2 and the exhibition lecture, “From Marcel Broodthaers to Mark Dion: Artists Engaging the Institution,” given by Steven Duval of the University of Kansas, will take place on March 26.

See the exhibit page for more exhibition and programming details online.

Drawn from the McClung Museum is organized by Sydney Cross, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Art from Clemson University, and Catherine Shteynberg, McClung Museum curator. The exhibition is presented by the Betty Davis Museum Fund; Debbie and Jeff Chapman of Atlanta, Georgia; the Southern Graphics Council International Print Conference; and UT Ready for the World. Additional support is provided by Knox County, the city of Knoxville, and the Arts and Heritage Fund.

The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking information building at the entrance to Circle Park Drive on the weekdays. Free parking is available on Circle Park Drive on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is also available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Additional parking information is available online.

For more information about the McClung Museum and its collections and exhibits, visit the website.


Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921,

Stacy Palado (865-974-2143,