Case Study

The Tennessee State Museum

HGA Architects, EOA Architects
Nashville, Tennessee
Architecture, Drone
The Tennessee State Museum stands as a beacon of cultural preservation and education, offering visitors a deep dive into the state’s past and present.
Architectural Photography Case Study - Tennessee State Museum - EOA HGA Architects - Nashville, TN

The Tennessee State Museum is a monumental cultural institution at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville. This project offers a rich blend of architectural brilliance, historical exhibitions, and interactive experiences, all of which were a delight to capture through my lens.

Architectural Splendor: The Tennessee State Museum, designed by EOA Architects and HGA, is a masterpiece of architectural ingenuity. Its design reflects Tennessee’s historical and cultural heritage, incorporating elements reminiscent of the State Capitol, antebellum mansions, and rural churches. The building is adorned with local materials such as Tennessee Quaker Gray Marble and Crab Orchard Stone, which lend it a timeless elegance. The museum’s grand lobby, featuring a terrazzo star inlay representing Tennessee’s three grand divisions, is a focal point of my photographs. I aimed to capture the interplay of natural light through the expansive skylights, which highlight the building’s intricate details and create a welcoming ambiance.

Exhibitions and Collections: The museum’s six permanent exhibitions offer a comprehensive journey through Tennessee’s rich history, from its geological beginnings to contemporary times.

Interactive Experiences: The Tennessee State Museum is not just a place to view artifacts; it is an interactive educational hub. The museum features a Digital Learning and Outreach Center, where visitors can dive into over 100 cultural topics through touch tables and large digital displays. This innovative approach to learning reflects the museum’s commitment to accessibility and education. My photographs aimed to highlight the interactive nature of these exhibits, emphasizing the seamless integration of modern technology into the historical narrative.

Special Exhibitions: In addition to its permanent collections, the museum hosts rotating exhibitions that bring new dimensions to its offerings. In 2019, one of the notable exhibitions was “Between the Layers: Art and Story in Tennessee Quilts,” which showcased the intricate artistry and rich stories behind Tennessee’s quilt-making traditions.

Community Engagement: The museum also serves as a cultural hub for the community, hosting various events, performances, and educational programs. For instance, in collaboration with the Nashville Opera, the museum presented a performance of Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” blending music and historical narrative in a unique and enriching way, showcasing the museum as a living, breathing part of Nashville’s cultural landscape.

My goal was to capture the essence of this remarkable institution, highlighting its architectural beauty, interactive exhibits, and the vibrant stories it preserves for future generations.