The Museum of East Tennessee History in Knoxville is officially re-opening as of Saturday, Aug. 1., which makes the East Tennessee History Center fully re-opened to the public, said Executive Director Cherel Henderson. All public programming at the History Center has been closed since March 23.
All museum visitors are asked to wear a mask or cloth face covering at all times (masks are available on site); make regular use of the hand sanitizing stations located throughout the building; stay at least six feet away from anyone not in your household; follow one-way path markers and stay at home if you are sick.
The Museum will close one hour early each day for enhanced cleaning. The hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Certain Museum features have also been modified to increase visitor safety. Examples are interactive exhibitions have been turned off, and seating has been removed to provide additional room for physical distancing. The newly completed Children & Family gallery, History Headquarters, originally scheduled to open April 3, has now been postponed to mid-October in order to adapt visitor protocols for the gallery’s highly interactive activity stations.
The newest exhibit is "Black & White: Knoxville in the Jim Crow Era" featuring the stories of African American artists Beauford Delaney, Joseph Delaney and Ruth Cobb Brice, with contributions by guest historian Robert J. Booker. The exhibition, which opened Feb. 20, right before the Museum closed, and has now been extended to provide visitors’ access to this important part of East Tennessee’s past.
Public programming such as Brown Bag lunches, guest speakers, genealogy classes, that are held on site have not resumed yet due to the limit on group size and social distancing. Live visits are possible via Zoom and Facebook Live to tour historic sites around the region on every other Thursday. The next virtual tour is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School in Jonesborough.