Calendar of Events

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

McClung Museum: Coming into View: Oil Paintings from the Permanent Collection

Category: Exhibitions, visual art, Free event and History, heritage

The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture is excited to announce the special exhibition, Coming into View: Oil Paintings from the Permanent Collection. The exhibition will feature several artworks never before displayed to the public alongside pieces that have been the focus of recent research.

Aligned with the museum’s newly implemented strategic plan, this exhibition underscores the significance of the museum’s ongoing collaboration with students, the university, and external partners. Coming into View explores three key themes—student research, collaboration, and coursework—providing an insider’s perspective on the research efforts conducted behind the scenes on the museum’s permanent collection.

Featuring both beloved “fan favorites” and previously unseen works, the exhibition spotlights paintings central to coursework, internships, and student research projects at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Beyond a mere display of art, Coming into View demonstrates the integral role of students, faculty, and the campus community in deepening the museum’s understanding of its collections.

The exhibition also provides a peek behind the metaphorical museum curtain into the importance of conservation of the museum’s permanent collection. Learn more about the exhibition and stay up to date with exhibition-related programming by visiting https://tiny.utk.edu/ComingIntoView.

McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, 1327 Circle Park Dr on the UT campus, Knoxville, TN 37996. Information: 865-974-2144. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 12–4 p.m. https://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu

Knoxville Walking Tours

  • January 1, 2024 — December 31, 2024

Category: Festivals, special events and History, heritage

Storyteller Laura Still helps you live the stories of pioneers, soldiers, outlaws, and even fictional characters who walked these streets before you.

Knoxville has a rich history full of colorful characters and famous, and infamous, figures whose lives have been the inspiration for books, movies, and works of art. Take a stroll through history in beautiful downtown Knoxville while listening to true tales of the heroes, heels, and hardened criminals that are part of the hidden lore of this unique East Tennessee town.

A portion of the proceeds for downtown tours go to help fund the work of the non-profit Knoxville History Project. Many stories are based on the books and stories of award-winning journalist and writer Jack Neely. Knoxville Walking Tours opens a window to Knoxville’s varied past and leads you on a journey through both hard times and high times of a city growing through over two centuries of history.

Tours include:
• Knoxville: The Early Years
• Misbehaving Women
• Civil War
• Gunslingers
• Musical History
• Literary Heritage
• Side Street Shadows Ghost Tours
• Knoxville Botanical Garden
• Old Gray Cemetery
• Side Street Shadows Ghost Tours

Tour on Your Schedule! Rather than posting a calendar, we’re letting you pick the tour and time — subject to availability. Call (865)309-4522 or visit http://knoxvillewalkingtours.com/

Trollkretsen Scandinavian Dancers

Category: Classes, workshops, Dance, movement, History, heritage and Meetup

Join the Trollkretsen dancers weekly to learn traditional Scandinavian dances! All ages are welcome and no prior knowledge is required to participate, just a willingness to learn. Experts will be present to teach every night from 7pm to 9pm to convene their own exciting take on the ancestral dance.

Tuesdays at the Laurel Theater, 1538 Laurel Avenue, Knoxville
https://www.facebook.com/events/387294076983226/387294236983210/

East Tennessee Historical Society: They Sang What They Lived: The Story of Carl and Pearl Butler

Category: Exhibitions, visual art, History, heritage, Kids, family and Music

They Sang What They Lived: The Story of Carl and Pearl Butler is the first retrospective exhibition of Carl and Pearl Butler, the iconic country music duo whose timeless lyrics and harmonious melodies left an indelible mark on country music. With a career spanning over four decades, Carl and Pearl Butler became celebrated figures in the world of country music. “Carl made scores of major-label records during the 1950s,” says Bradley E. Reeves, the exhibition’s guest curator and author of the new book Honky Tonkitis: On the Road with Carl Butler and Pearl. “These are some of the best bluegrass, gospel, and hard country records ever made, although none could be called a massive hit.” That honor would come in 1962, when Carl and Pearl recorded “Don’t Let Me Cross Over.” The song remains among the fastest ever to ascend to No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country Singles. Carl and Pearl’s unique “Knoxville sound,” along with heartfelt lyrics, earned them a dedicated fan base who supported them at performances across the United States and Canada through the 1970s. The exhibition offers visitors a rare glimpse into the lives of these music legends.

Key highlights of the exhibition include:
1. Rare Family Archives: Museum guests will have the opportunity to view the Allen “Junior” Butler Family Collection, which has been made publicly available for the first time and includes never-before-seen photographs, home movies, original instruments, and stage costumes that belonged to Carl and Pearl Butler. “I’m grateful to Allen Butler and his family for opening their home and archives to share with us,” says Reeves.
2. Musical Journey: Explore the duo's musical journey through a feature film, which transports visitors through various periods of their career and traces their unfiltered, raw singing style, one that derived from and advanced the “Knoxville sound.”
3. Behind-the-Scenes: Gain insight into the lives of Carl and Pearl Butler through never-before-seen family photographs and recently uncovered anecdotes from the family and fellow musicians, including Dolly Parton who viewed the Butlers as her “second parents.” “Despite their successes,” says Adam Alfrey, Assistant Director for Historical Services at Knox County Public Library, “Carl and Pearl faced personal and professional struggles, which are intimately documented through the family’s photographs.”
4. Interpretive Experience: Engage with the exhibition to understand how both Knoxville and Nashville played a role in the development of country music. Also, learn how chart-topping artists can quickly become all but forgotten, even in their hometown. “The Butlers somehow fell through the cracks,” reflects Reeves. “It’s my hope that this book and exhibition will contribute to a reappreciation of their great body of work.”
They Sang What They Lived: The Story of Carl and Pearl Butler promises to be a heartfelt educational experience for country music enthusiasts and fans of all ages. It serves as a testament to the enduring influence of Carl and Pearl Butler on the world of music.

At 5:00 pm, Friday, October 6, 2023, there will be an opening reception for They Sang What They Lived: The Story of Carl and Pearl Butler. The event will include a meet and greet with Carl and Pearl Butler’s family, a book signing by guest curator Bradley E. Reeves, and an exhibition of Appalachian musical pioneer paintings by artist Amy Campbell. At 7:00 pm, there will be a “Tribute to Carl and Pearl,” opened by a performance of the Paul Brewster and Friends Band, comprised of 14-year-old mandolin prodigy Wyatt Ellis and Grand Ole Opry performers Daniel Grindstaff, Kent Blanton, Stephen Burwell, and John Meador. A screening of 8mm home movies shot by the Butlers (watch for an appearance by 10-year-old Dolly Parton), as well as some of the Butlers’ rarest television appearances, will conclude the evening.

East Tennessee Historical Society, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Museum hours: M-F 9-4, Sa 10-4, Su 1-5. Information: 865-215-8824, www.eastTNhistory.org/lights-camera