EDGE The Brand: Hunter Museum of American Art [photos]

EDGE The Brand: Hunter Museum of American Art [photos]

February 1st, 2018 by Dave Flessner in EDGE

Gallery: The Brand: Hunter Museum of American Art

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Location: 10 Bluff View, perched on an 80-foot bluff overlooking the Tennessee River downtown

Art displays: The Hunter Museum focuses on American art from the Colonial period to the present day. The collection includes paintings, works on paper, sculpture, photography, mixed media, furniture and contemporary studio glass covering a range of styles and periods. Artists whose work is represented in the Hunter include Thomas Cole, Fitz Henry Lane, Winslow Homer, Robert S. Duncanson, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, John Marin, Thomas Hart Benton, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson, Jack Beal, George Segal, Duane Hanson, Robert Rauschenberg, Sam Gilliam and Andy Warhol.

Governance: The non-profit museum is governed by a 21-member board and Virginia Anne Sharber is the museum's executive director.

History: Founded in 1952, The Hunter Museum has undergone major expansions in the 1970s and in 2005.

The mansion: In 1904, wealthy insurance broker Ross Faxon commissioned the Cincinnati architectural firm of Mead and Garfield to design a new home for his family. The family lived in the Edwardian-style mansion for nine years. After passing through several hands, the home eventually was sold in 1920 to Anne Taylor Thomas, the widow of Benjamin F. Thomas. Benjamin Thomas was one of the founders of the world's first Coca-Cola bottling company. George Thomas Hunter inherited the mansion from his aunt, as he had the bottling business from his uncle. Hunter was unmarried; following his death in 1951, the Chattanooga Art Association approached the Benwood Foundation to ask that the Faxon-Hunter mansion be donated to their organization in order to found an art museum. The association transformed the home into a space suitable for Chattanooga's first art museum and the museum, named the George Thomas Hunter Gallery of Art, in honor of its benefactor, opened to the public July 12, 1952.

The mansion remained in its original architectural state until 1975 when a modern addition was added to the museum. The new building was designed by Chattanooga architects Derthick, Henley & Wilkerson. Built of concrete with a dramatic central atrium space, the building won several prestigious architectural awards.

Attendance: more than 60,000 visitors every year; three to four temporary exhibitions every year.

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Hunter Museum of American Art is an ArtsBuild Community Arts Partner. The Hunter is supported by grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Hunter Museum is a 501 (C) 3 Non-Profit charitable institution.