City of Knoxville Tennessee Arts CommissionAmerican Alliance of Museum

The KMA Collection

The Knoxville Museum of Art collects works of art of the highest quality in all media from circa 1900 to the present with an emphasis on those representing the most significant recent developments and with greatest local and regional relevance.

The collection includes approximately 700 objects representing 20th- and 21st-century works on paper, paintings, mixed media works, sculpture, and fine craft. It continues to grow through gifts from noted artists, galleries, collectors, and foundations, and purchases funded by the Collectors Circle of important works by artists of regional and international significance.

Internationally-known artists represented in the collection include David Bates, Charles Burchfield, Tomory Dodge, Robert Longo, Loretta Lux, Dante Marioni, William Morris, Kenneth Snelson, to cite just a few. Choice examples by Catherine Wiley, Lloyd Branson, Joseph Delaney, Walter Stevens, Carl Sublett, Whitney Leland, Richard Jolley, Andrew Saftel and Bessie Harvey represent the development of the visual arts in Eastern Tennessee over the past century.

Many of these are featured in Higher Ground: A Century of the Visual Arts in East Tennessee, an ongoing installation devoted to the history of art in the region from the late 19th century to the present. The KMA collection also includes nine Thorne Miniature Rooms, period rooms created by renowned miniaturist Mrs. James Ward Thorne in the 1930s that were recently conserved and reinstalled in a special gallery on the museum’s lower level.


Collectors Circle

The Collectors Circle , founded in 1994, has been instrumental in the development of KMA's collection. This special membership group supports purchases for the collection and explores the world of art through a diverse program of lectures, forums and group travel to visit museums in other cities, as well as artists' studios, private collections and galleries both locally and nationally.

Each year the group gathers for the Purchase Reception, during which members consider several works of art earmarked by the museum. Following lively discussion, the group votes on the work of its choice, which is then purchased using funds established by the group's membership dues. The group has supported the purchase of more than 20 works by artists such as Nancy Rubins, William Morris, Robert Stackhouse, William T. Wiley, Jim Campbell, Stuart Netsky, Sarah Hobbs and Darren Waterston.

More Information on the Collectors Circle

Recent Acquisitions

KMA 2008/2009 Acquisitions

Hiraki Sawa (Japanese, born 1977)
Between , 2004
3 channel DVD installation
Edition 4 of 8
Knoxville Museum of Art purchase, 2008.01.01