Tennessee State Museum


Called the “Smithsonian of Tennessee” by The Tennessee Magazine, the Tennessee State Museum explores the state’s rich history, art and culture from the First Peoples to present day through six permanent exhibits and supplemental temporary exhibits pulled from the Museum’s expansive collection. Previously located in the lower level of the War Memorial Building in downtown Nashville, where it first opened to the public in 1937, the Museum moved to the James K. Polk Building in 1981, where it remained for 37 years. The Museum then opened to the public in its new home adjacent to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in October 2018.

Currently on display in the Museum’s Mike Curb Music Gallery is The Tennessee Playlist: The People, Places, and Roots of Our Music. This 4,000-sq. ft. show reminds visitors that musical traditions have deep roots in Tennessee. This state has inspired musicians for generations, whether they made music on front porches, at studios, or in arenas. This exhibit explores the diverse sounds of the state and the interplay of tradition and change, highlighting innovation and enduring traditions.

The Museum offers a convenient drop-off entrance for large buses off Rosa Parks Blvd. There are free lockers for valuables, wheelchairs available to borrow while visiting, and portable stools to advantage of when needing a rest in the galleries. All public entrances are accessible to individuals with disabilities. In addition, located on the first floor is the Museum Gift Shop, which offers a unique history and art-focused shopping experience.  Browse a selection of handmade items from artisans throughout Tennessee, along with a vast collection of books, specialty gift items, local foods and apparel. The Museum is also conveniently located next to the Nashville Farmers’ Market, which offers retail space to farmers, artisans and small businesses. Its international food hall includes some 20 restaurants and shops.




TUESDAY – SATURDAY: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

SUNDAY: 1:00p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Go to tnmuseum.org for additional information and to plan your visit.

Sign up for your free subscription

Sign up today for your free subscription of Bus Tours Magazine

Sign up now