Knoxville Museum of Art Celebrates 25 Years in the Clayton Building

March 11, 2015

The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates 25 years in the Clayton Building with a luncheon on Wednesday, March 25 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at the KMA. Cost is $75 per person.

The luncheon features the cuisine of Chef Matt Gallaher of Knox Mason, remarks by historian and author Jack Neely, reminiscences by museum founders, and a short video about the building of the KMA by UT filmmakers Bob Legg and Michael Wiseman.

Contact Denise DuBose at for reservations.

The Knoxville Museum of Art opened in its current 53,200 square-foot facility, designed by renowned American architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, on March 25, 1990. The KMA’s predecessor, the Dulin Gallery of Art, opened in 1961. By the middle 1980s the gallery had outgrown its quarters in the 1915 Dulin House on Kingston Pike. An ambitious community effort raised $11 million for a state-of-the-art facility overlooking the site of the 1982 World’s Fair in downtown Knoxville. The four-story steel and concrete building, sheathed in pink Tennessee marble, is named in honor of Jim Clayton, the largest single contributor to its construction.

March 25, 2015 also marks the official completion of the museum’s 25th Anniversary Campaign, which raised $12 million in gifts and pledges to fund the comprehensive renovation of the Clayton Building, the construction of the new North Garden, the creation of a dedicated art acquisition fund, and the enhancement of operating and program endowments.

According to KMA Executive Director David Butler, “So many gave so much to realize the ambitious vision of a great art museum in Knoxville and East Tennessee. Future generations who benefit from the presence of a vibrant, engaged, and relevant cultural organization like the KMA will forever be in the debt of those who dared to dream and build big twenty-five years ago.”

The Knoxville Museum of Art under construction, late 1980s.

The Knoxville Museum of Art at twilight, present day. Photo by David Massengill, 2014.

The Knoxville Museum of Art
The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Angela Thomas at 865.934.2034 or visit