Tennessee Turned: Earthenware and Stoneware Made in East Tennessee 1800-1900
"Tennessee Turned" is a major exhibition of nineteenth-century pots made in East Tennessee. On view at the Museum of East Tennessee History from May 16 through October 30, this once-in-a-lifetime grouping of more than 200 distinctive regional pieces will make for an unforgettable exploration of this chapter of Tennessee history.
The exhibition is based on the life’s research of guest curator Carole Carpenter Wahler, a noted authority on Southern pottery and the foremost authority for Tennessee.
“East Tennessee’s earliest potters were generally of German or English ancestry,” says Wahler, explaining that after 1800 these two pottery traditions combined with other cultural influences to result in a distinctive style of pottery that can be identified today. “This pottery, of which we are justifiably proud, provides a unique link in the continuum of the American potting tradition as it spread across the United States.”
The exhibit will explore all aspects of nineteenth-century pottery production in East Tennessee, as well as featuring comparative examples from other parts of the state. Visitors will learn how to “read” a pot, how a pot was made in the nineteenth-century, the difference between earthenware and stoneware, and the importance of pottery for households. These “messengers of the past,” as Wahler refers to them, sometimes tell intensely personal family stories, such as the tragic saga of the Civil War bridge burners from Greene County. Family potteries, such as the Cain, Hinshaw, Mottern, Decker, Weaver, and Grindstaff, among many others, will be represented by their surviving work.
The presenting sponsor for Tennessee Turned is Home Federal Bank of Knoxville, with branches in Anderson, Blount, Knox, and Sevier counties.
For a list of previous exhibits, click here.