Museum Tour: Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga

On our way back to Illinois from Florida, we visited the lively downtown of Chattanooga on a warmish late-December Day. Owing to our indoor rock-climbing session and the long drive that we had to make later in the day back to Illinois, we didn’t get inside the museum. But we had a fine walk along the Tennessee River, through the museum’s sculpture park, and to the Bluff View Arts District.

According to its web page, “The Hunter Museum focuses on American art from the Colonial period to the present day. The variety of the collection inside is reflected by the architecture of the museum’s exterior. The museum is housed in an early twentieth century mansion, a modern 1970s era building and a sleek, contemporary structure of steel and glass.”

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View from the southwest showing the 2005 addition by Randall Stout and the original classical revival mansion (1904).

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Plaque describes the three sections of the museum. The East Wing (1975), designed by the local firm Derthick and Henley, is an example of brutalism. It celebrates the clean lines of American abstraction and advances in concrete slab construction.

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Another plaque shows the view from above the river and highlights the East Wing.

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“Blue Trees” and a Butterfield horse flank the main entrance to the museum at the West Wing.

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The addition won an award for Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steels.

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Sculpture by artist unknown (to me), looking west over Tennessee River.

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Pitcher preparing to throw. John Dreyfuss, “Full Count,” bronze, 1990.

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Zoe stepping into the action to call balls and strikes.

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William King, “Adolescence,” 1982.

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Konstatin Dimopoulos, “Blue Trees,” 2016. In this installation that occurs at the museum as well as along the river walk, electric blue water-based colorant temporarily transforms trees into a surrealistic landscape.

 

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