The Hunter Museum of American Art is an absolute gem and a must-do for all art lovers when in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dramatically perched on a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River, the museum consists of three buildings, each of differing architectural design: the Hunter Mansion (1952), the Brutalist East Wing (opened in 1975) and the stunning modern addition West Wing (opened in 2005). The Museum showcases different periods of American Art, with early work fittingly located in the beautiful mansion building and modern/contemporary art on display in the East Wing. The West Wing features temporary exhibitions and some fantastic sculptures. The current special exhibition is Alyson Shotz’s Un/Folding.
This is a welcoming and impressive art museum. The staff here are very friendly and you are allowed, and in fact encouraged, to take photographs as you explore the work, which I appreciated as that’s how I like to engage with art. It makes for a relaxed and enjoyable experience, in contrast to some particularly uptight venues I’ve been to round the world who should take note. I spent three hours making my way through all three buildings and the sculptures outside so give yourself plenty of time to see everything at your leisure.
Entry cost for adults is £15. Admission to the permanent collection is free on the first Thursday of every month, from 4pm to 8pm. To view special exhibitions during these times, admission of $5 per adult is required.
Selection of pictures from my visit in April 2019: