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The Martyrdom of Two Saints, c. 1210–15. Lent by the Glencairn Museum, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.

The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will open the new temporary exhibition Visions of the End from January 31 through May 10. The exhibition features 26 pieces of medieval and Renaissance art from some of the country’s finest collecting institutions, including the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Glencairn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library and Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Walters Art Museum.

This exhibition was curated by Gregor Kalas, associate professor of architecture and interim director of the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Visions of the End explores Johns’ Book of Revelation, an otherworldly text written in 100 CE, which predicted the end of time. In coordination with the exhibition, UT’s College of Arts and Sciences has organized a comprehensive “apocalypse semester” that includes specialized courses, lectures, and events for community members. The interdisciplinary nature of Visions of the End and its many collaborative events reflects how apocalypse has historically been understood.

St. John on Patmos Writing Down his Visions of the Apocalypse, from an illuminated manuscript, c. 1400–1405. Lent by the Free Library of Philadelphia Rare Book Department.

“This show reveals how thinking about the end of time sparked tremendous artistic creativity, including images of eternal peace. There’s also something fun about those beastly figures or contemplating which villains were trampled by the apocalyptic horsemen,” joked Kalas. “The McClung Museum offers a rare chance to explore medieval and Renaissance art of the Apocalypse in works never before displayed in Tennessee.”

In addition to the exhibition at McClung Museum, a number of events centered around themes of apocalypse are happening throughout the UT campus and the city of Knoxville. The Ewing Gallery’s current exhibition, Unsustainable, and a collaborative response show in April at Gallery 1010—aptly titled The End!—are both affiliated with Visions of the End.

A medallion, c. 1320-40, on loan from the Walters Art Museum

“Partnerships like this are not only unique for our community but also present a rare opportunity for UT students,” said Gallery 1010 director and current Master of Fine Arts candidate Ashlee Mays. “As the state of Tennessee’s only fully student-run gallery, Gallery 1010 provides university students with the unique experience of organizing group shows, putting on experimental performances, and even creating full installations. This collaboration with the McClung Museum demonstrates the importance of providing these opportunities for our student body.”

Other collaborative events include a medieval-themed family and community day, a lecture on Cold War–era architecture, the 17th annual Marco Symposium, multiple exhibitions across campus, and a variety of film screenings. A full calendar of apocalypse-related events, is available here.

About the McClung Museum

The McClung Museum is at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1–5 p.m. Sundays. Groups may schedule tours by calling 865-974-2144 or emailing museum@utk.edu.

Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking information booth at the entrance to Circle Park Drive on 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 Monday through Saturday on the Knoxville Trolley Orange Line.

CONTACT:

Zack Plaster (865-974-2144, zack@utk.edu)

Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921, cshteynb@utk.edu)​