* What: "Go Figure: Selections From the Hunter Museum's Permanent Collection."
* When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, noon-5 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday, through Feb. 2 (closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day; closes early on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve).
* Where: Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View.
* Admission: $9.95 adults, $4.95 children.
* Phone: 423-267-0968.
* Website: www.huntermuseum.org.
"Don't bother the lady in the scoop-neck print top at the card table. She can't help you."
That may be what Hunter Museum of American Art employees have to tell people from now into February because the sculpture that's part of the museum's new exhibit is so real.
"The Fundraiser," a 1980 sculpture by Duane Hanson of an American Heart Association senior citizen volunteer, is one of nearly 40 pieces in "Go Figure: Selections From the Hunter Museum's Permanent Collection."
The exhibition, which focuses on portraiture and the human form, subjects that have intrigued artists since the beginning of time, opened this week and continues through Feb. 2.
"These have not been seen for a while," Hannah Legg, the museum's public relations and marketing director, says of the pieces. "It's an exclusive opportunity for folks to come out and see these items."
Some, she says, haven't been seen for a couple of years and some for perhaps a decade. "They've been in the vault."
The American works from the late 20th and early 21st centuries are in a variety of media, including paintings, prints, photography and sculpture. They're also real and abstract, contemporary and expressionistic.
Although all the works explore the human form, they have not been seen together due to their size and nature.
The exhibit, for instance, includes the life-size Hanson sculpture as well as a 1998 close-up portrait of Napoleon, "Il Mostro," by Tony Scherman, which covers an entire wall.
It's an exhibit, according to a museum news release, "that entices all emotions, whether the image is intricately painted or abstractly sculpted."
Among other artists in the exhibit are Leon Golub, Philip Pearlstein, Hung Liu, Bo Bartlett, Alan Siegel, Nathan Oliveira and Catharine Newell.
"Some of these are real memorable," says Legg. "Others people may recognize [from previous years]."
Either way, she says, it's a rare opportunity to see a variety of interesting pieces together.
"It's a little bit unusual," Legg says.
Contact Clint Cooper at email@example.com or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.