Here’s the schedule for the grand opening, for you lucky dogs making the trip to Nashville.
And here’s a breakdown of the permanent exhibits:
- Tennessee Time Tunnel, which seems to be a sort of port of entry to the other galleries, sort of like Main Street at the Magic Kingdom.
- Natural History
- First Peoples, from the end of the last Ice Age to 1760
- Forging a Nation, from 1760 to 1860
- The Civil War and Reconstruction
- Change and Challenge, from 1870 through World War II
- Tennessee Transforms, 1945 to the present
If it seems odd that the Civil War and Reconstruction get a whole gallery to themselves, bear in mind that the TSM’s Civil War collection is huge. And the old building’s exhibits didn’t include anything at all on much of the twentieth century, so it looks like we’ll be getting a much broader, fuller examination of the state’s history in this new setup.
Still, the prospect of covering the whole century between the Anglo-Cherokee War and Lincoln’s election as a single unit seems like quite an undertaking. Of course, I’m partial to the period between the late 1760s and the collapse of the State of Franklin, so I wouldn’t want to see it get short shrift. One thing I adored about the old TSM was its extensive treatment of the frontier. The “Forging a Nation” gallery includes a Rev War exhibit, and I hope that means all those wonderful King’s Mountain relics are still on display. Anyway, I can’t wait to get over there and see the new place for myself.