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McClung Museum Staff Accept Knox Star Award
Stacy Palado, left, and Zack Plaster, right, from McClung Museum accept award.

The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture was honored last week as “the best museum in Knoxville” during the Knox Stars awards handed by the Knoxville News Sentinel.

A public vote determined the awards, formerly known as Best in Knoxville.

While it’s the first time the McClung Museum has claimed this honor, the campus community has long known how stellar the museum is. Here are eight things that contribute to its stardom:

  • Over the past 55 years the McClung Museum has welcomed 1.7 million visitors and installed more than 200 exhibits.
  • Its arts and culture collections includes more than 27,000 objects; the malacology (mollusk) collection holds more than 300,000; and the archaeology collection holds well over a million objects.
  • The state artifact of Tennessee—a 700-year-old sandstone statue created by Native American artisans—is housed in the museum.
  • The timespan between the museum’s oldest object and its most contemporary object is 600 million years.
  • The McClung is the only museum in the region that hosts Spanish-language programming—¡Vamos al Museo!
  • The museum serves thousands of UT undergraduate and graduate students each year through guided tours, object observation, and opportunities to intern, volunteer, and research.
  • The museum is home to a 2,400-pound, 24-foot-long bronze skeleton of an Edmontosaurus annectens, a hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur—the type of dinosaur that once roamed the coastal plains of Tennessee.
  • The McClung is the only museum in the region that highlights global cultures in its permanent collections.

Learn more about the McClung and its exhibits, events, and collections, as well as how to become a member, on the museum website.


Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921,