History of the Knoxville Museum of Art:
The Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, educates and serves a diverse community, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. 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, a landmark design of John Russell Pope, which also lacked adequate parking and public transportation access. A major community effort raised $11 million for a state-of-the-art facility overlooking the site of the 1982 World’s Fair in downtown Knoxville. In March 1990, the Knoxville Museum of Art opened in its current 53,200 square-foot facility, designed by renowned museum architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. The exterior of the four-story steel and concrete building, named in honor of Jim Clayton, the largest single contributor to its construction, is sheathed in the pink Tennessee marble quarried near Knoxville.