The mission of the Reece Museum is to provide an understanding of Appalachian culture and its importance in civilization by celebrating the people and places of Appalachia through the permanent collection, exhibits, and public service programming.
The Music Room is a permanent exhibition at the Reece featuring an interactive kiosk produced by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services. With over five-and-a-half hours of videos contained in three "electronic scrapbooks" (The Early History of Country Music in the Tri-Cities, My Ballad Book, and Country Music and Community in the Tri-Cities), the kiosk includes videos of local musicians Jimmie Rogers, Jeanette Carter, Scotty Stoneman, and many others.
The Reece also has three galleries for rotating art and history exhibits. Please click on Current Exhibitions to see what is on exhibition now.
THE DEVAULT TAVERN EXHIBITION
The Reece Museum, a unit of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, on the campus of East Tennessee State University hosted a fall 2014 exhibition The DeVault Tavern: An Exhibition by Paul Kennedy, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and supported by the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts. The exhibit opening, held on Thursday, September 11, 2014, attracted an audience of 121 attendees.
The Tavern, a U.S. National Register of Historic Places listing, is located approximately five miles west of Jonesborough in the community of Leesburg. Frederick DeVault (spelled Davault at that time) built the two-story brick tavern in 1819-1821. As its name suggests, the house originally served as a way station and inn along the region’s primary stagecoach route, until the new railroad bypassed Leesburg in 1857 in favor of Jonesborough. Even after the house was a “tavern” in name only, it continued to anchor a working farm of 200 acres until the early 1960s.
Brooklyn-based artist Paul Kennedy, who grew up in Jonesborough, began photographing and researching the DeVault Tavern in December 2009, just after its sale, and has continued to make photographs as the new owners began a gradual restoration.
For the exhibition, Kennedy was both artist and guest curator, designing an installation and writing interpretive labels that evoked the detective-like process of archival research and investigation. Twenty of his large, framed photographs served as the exhibition’s “establishing shots,” introducing the house and landscape as theatrical spaces replete with evidence. Specially selected archival material from the Tavern collection was also on display, along with research material drawn from other sources, such as census forms, photos, transcribed letters and maps. The installation also included five pieces of museum-quality antique furniture that originally belonged in the Tavern.
A 112-page, softbound, full color publication entitled The DeVault Tavern extended the exhibition with additional photographs and archival materials. The publication includes an Introduction and core essay by Kennedy, as well as essays by Dr. Tom Lee, Diana C. Stoll, and Amber Clawson. It is available for purchase in the museum and online.
The Reece Museum is free and open to the public. For more information please visit www.etsu.edu/cass/reece/ or call (423) 439- 4392.
See actual Exhibition photos below. Click on the photo for a larger view.