Clarksville’s Customs House Museum June 2017 Exhibits and Activities

The Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterClarksville, TN – The Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is located in historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee. Come explore an entire city block featuring large gallery spaces filled with fine art, science and history.

Some of the events in June at the Museum are: Eric Buechel: The Familiar, This Is My Story, Art of the Staff, Flying High, Flag Day, and Tales & Rails.

Blackburn by Ron Adams 2002, Color Lithograph.

Blackburn by Ron Adams 2002, Color Lithograph.


The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper
May 9th – August 1st | Orgain, Bruner & Crouch Galleries

Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper

Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper

This exhibition is one of the most comprehensive traveling exhibitions ever organized featuring works on paper by African-American artists from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

The 70 works in the exhibition include drawings, etchings, lithographs, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, gouaches, linoleum cuts and color screenprints by such noted artists as Ron Adams, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden,  Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Eldizer Cortor, Margaret Burroughs, and many other outstanding artists.

This highly acclaimed exhibition has been featured in major museums stretching across America, and Clarksville is its only scheduled stop in a contiguous twelve-state region in our part of the country. The exhibition was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.

Eric Buechel: The Familiar
June 2nd – July 30th | Planters Bank Peg Harvill Gallery

Eric Buechel grew up in a rural northern area of New Jersey, just west of Manhattan and attended the DuCret School of Art in Plainfield, New Jersey. He then transferred to Broward College in South Florida and earned a degree in fine art.

Since moving to Tennessee in 2002, Buechel has focused exploring art the camera. His three year battle with cancer gave him the desire to create with a new found perspective.

This Is My Story
June 8th – October 15th | Jostens Gallery

Women writers representing multiple decades share their thoughts of who they are on May 14th, 2017 (Mother’s Day). Their writings are suspended on cloth, hung “clothesline style” in the gallery.

Art of the Staff
June 1st – July 24th | The Leaf Chronicle Lobby

See art in a variety of mediums created by the staff of the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center.

Forward March
March 7th – July 30th | Kimbrough Gallery

This exhibit showcases maps, documents, dioramas, flags, and photos from several wars, featuring objects from the collection of Dr. John Olson.

Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children’s Literature
March 23rd – August 20th | Memory Lane

This groundbreaking exhibition of Appalachian children’s literature examines seminal titles published since the 1800s. Come explore our region’s literary heritage and see how children’s literature tells the story of Appalachia. This is a traveling exhibit from East Tennessee Historical Society and Knox County Public Library.


Flying High
Saturday, June 17th | 5:00pm | Old Glory Distilling Co.

2017 Flying High

This year’s fundraising event promises to be unlike any other Flying High in our history. This year’s theme is an evening is Havana Nights! “Havana Nights” will transport you back to a time when Cuba’s musical golden age flourished.

  • Silent Auction – five o’clock • Dinner – seven o’clock
  • Live Auction – eight o’clock • Music and dancing to follow

We will offer a special Tasting Bar featuring Old Glory’s specialties available to all attendees as well as an outdoor cash cigar bar. This year’s signature artist will be Billy Renkl, Professor of Art, Drawing and Illustration, at Austin Peay State University.

Tickets to this event are $135.00 for Museum members, and $185.00 for non-members. To purchase, contact the museum at 931.648.5780 or purchase online at

Art & Lunch: Life Through Art
June 8th, 12:15pm

Curator of Exhibits Terri Jordan will walk guests through the Kelley Collection of African American Art to discuss examples of how artwork in the exhibition demonstrate “life through art.” This program is free and open to the public; guests are encouraged to bring their lunch. In conjunction with the exhibit The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper.

Flag Day
June 14th, 12:15pm

As the principal cultural institution in our community dedicated to the preservation and celebration of our heritage, the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center will present a program featuring a contemporary view of patriotism in America with a special flag raising ceremony by the Marine Corps League. The speaker will be Dr. Dewey A. Browder, Professor Emeritus of History at APSU and a reared U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel.

We will also draw names for the winners of the three copies of the World War II surrender documents. One given to a museum member, one to a current or retired military personnel, and one to the oldest Veteran to attend the Flag Day program. These important books have been generously donated by Dr. John Olson.

Program is free and open to the public.

Join us in June for Family Art Fridays!
Events will take place every Friday in June in the Family Art Studio from 10:30am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 4:30pm

  • June 2nd, Mask Making: Design a mask based on a character, an animal, or just using fun patterns!
  • June 9th, Bubble Painting: Make some art that really pops with this colorful bubbly painting technique! June 16, Silly Sculptures: Using miscellaneous materials, create an interesting and one of a kind sculpture!
  • *June 23rd, Book Making: Stop by and put together a mini paper book to write and illustrate your own exciting story in! *Times will be adjusted on June 23rd due to other activities
  • June 30th, Museum in a Box: Turn a small box into a miniature art gallery filled with works of art designed by you!
    Activities are suitable for all ages.

Look what’s new on the Explorers’ Landing!
First what’s new is the new name for Explorers’ Gallery! Why Landing? It was at the river landings that many future Clarksvillians first set eyes on what we now call home. It is through activities on Explorers’ Landing that our guests and museum members will discover some of our story, our history, from another perspective, highlighting what is uniquely Clarksville/Montgomery County.

This month, look for the Lab, a newly designated science section of the Explorers’ Landing. All things optical, from convex mirrors to optical illusions, microscopes, binoculars, magnifiers, and kaleidoscopes, will be featured during the summer thanks to your contributions during The Big Payback.

Bring a friend, pull up a couple of labs stool at our science lab table and see what your eyes can discover!

Tales & Rails Tuesdays
June 13th – July 25th

Ms. Sue will read Appalachian stories in the auditorium.
10:15am – 10:45am and 2:15pm – 2:45pm

The model trains will run:
10:45am – 11:15am and 2:45pm – 3:00pm

Appalachian Wednesdays
June 14th – July 26th | 10:00am – 11:15am and 2:00pm – 3:15pm

Visit Ms. Sue at the Powers’ family log house to get better acquainted with our East Tennessee heritage. Make a button whizzer toy, listen to some bluegrass pickin’, make a woven fish, build a craft stick log house – and more!  Visit our website for weekly updates of activities.

Celebrate Wilma Rudolph’s Birthday
Friday, June 23rd | 10:00am – 5:00pm | Admission will be free all day!

Hear the story, The Quickest Kid in Clarksville, written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Frank Morrison. Ms. Sue will read the book in the Turner Auditorium.

10:15am – 10:45am and 2:15pm – 2:45pm.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase in Seasons: The Museum Store. Also make sure to stop by and put together a mini paper book to write and illustrate your own exciting story in the Family Art Studio.

All activities are free with your museum membership. Non-members pay regular admission fees. For more information contact Ms. Sue at or 931.648.5780.


The Customs House Museum & Cultural Center will be closed Sunday, June 18th for Father’s Day.

About the Customs House Museum

Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterLocated in the heart of historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is the State’s second largest general museum. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1898 as a U.S. Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade. Incorporating a number of architectural styles, the original structure is one of the most photographed buildings in the region.

With over 35,000 square feet of the region’s best hands-on activities and special events…people of all ages agree – the Customs House Museum is well worth the stop!

The Explorer’s Gallery is packed with fun, learning and fantasy in Aunt Alice’s Attic, McGregor’s Market and kitchen, and of course – the Bubble Cave! Finally, get “all aboard” to see our fantastic model trains. Our volunteer engineers “ride the rails” every Sunday afternoon from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

Regular museum hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sundays. Adult admission is $7.00, Senior Citizens and College ID $5.00, Ages 6 to 18 $3.00, and under six years and Museum members are free.

The Customs House Museum is located at 200 South Second Street. For more information, call 931.648.5780 or visit their website at




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