Tennessee

Video producer Christopher Noey talks about his childhood state of Tennessee and the unusual places it pops up in the Museum.

Loading

There are a lot of reminders of my childhood state as I go through the Museum.

Play again
Connections Home

URL
Share
Sign Up

New Connections appear every Wednesday. Sign up for a reminder.

Captions On
/
  • Christopher Noey
    1280852
  • Nine years  |  Christopher Noey
    7281024
  • Nine years   |  Christopher Noey
    11071024
  • Poplars and Hillside, Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee  |  1967  |  Eliot Porter (American)  |  Dye transfer print  |  Gift of the artist, in honor of David Hunter McAlpin, 1979 (1979.625.45)  |  © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
    7941024
  • Red Tree Near Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee  |  1967  |  Eliot Porter (American)  |  Dye transfer print  |  Gift of the artist, in honor of David Hunter McAlpin, 1979 (1979.625.13)  |  © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
    7971024
  • Tennessee  |  1866  |  Alexander H. Wyant (American)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Gift of Mrs. George E. Schanck, in memory of her brother, Arthur Hoppock Hearn (13.53)
    15931024
  • Pendant with Serpent Design  |  13th–14th century  |  Mississippian peoples; Tennessee  |  Shell  |  The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979 (1979.206.446)
    1280985
  • View on Tennessee River looking toward Chattanooga  |  ca. 1864  |  George N. Barnard (American)  |  Albumen silver print from glass negative  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933 (33.65.407)
    12221024
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)  |  18th century (1778)  |  Jean-Antoine Houdon (French)  |  French (Paris)  |  Marble  |  Gift of John Bard, 1872 (72.6)
    7071024
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)  |  18th century (1778)  |  Jean-Antoine Houdon (French)  |  French (Paris)  |  Marble  |  Gift of John Bard, 1872 (72.6)
    6911024
  • Andrew Jackson  |  1834–35; this carving, 1839  |  Hiram Powers (American)  |  Marble  |  Gift of Mrs. Frances V. Nash, 1894 (94.14)
    6981024
  • Andrew Jackson  |  1834–35; this carving, 1839  |  Hiram Powers (American)  |  Marble  |  Gift of Mrs. Frances V. Nash, 1894 (94.14)
    7801024
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee  |  ca. 1864  |  George N. Barnard (American)  |  Albumen silver print from glass negative  |  Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933 (33.65.404)
    1061976
  • Mr. and Mrs. Summers of Monteagle, Tennessee  |  1941, printed ca. 1954  |  Edward Weston (American)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1957 (57.519.5)  |  ©1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents
    12801018
  • [Wooden Farm Building, Tennessee]  |  1936–37  |  Walker Evans (American)  |  Film negative  |  Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.258.22)
    12801024
  • [Street Preacher and Wagon on Sidewalk, Memphis, Tennessee]  |  1937  |  Walker Evans (American)  |  Film negative  |  Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.253.378.3)
    1024689
  • [Album of Photographs of Electric Signs by the Gray Sign Company, Knoxville, Tennessee]  |  1911  |  Unknown Artist, American School  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Purchase, Saundra B. Lane Gift, 2005 (2005.263.1–.98)
    671484
  • Water  |  1945  |  Charles Sheeler (American)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1949 (49.128)
    12371024
  • Kneeling statue of Amenemope-em-hat  |  Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Psamtik I, ca. 664–610 b.c.  |  Egyptian; Apparently from Memphis, Ptah temple  |  Graywacke  |  Rogers Fund, 1924 (24.2.2)
    7871024
  • "Carlton" room divider  |  1981  |  Ettore Sottsass (Italian, born Austria), Designer; Memphis s.r.l., Manufacturer  |  Wood, plastic laminate  |  John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 1997 (1997.460.1ab)
    8921024
  • "Murmansk" fruit dish  |  1982  |  Ettore Sottsass (Italian, born Austria); Manufacturer: Memphis  |  Silver  |  Gift of Ronald S. Kane, 1992 (1992.216.1)
    7981024
  • The Mary and Michael Jaharis Gallery of Archaic and Classical Greek Art  |  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    10261024
  • The Mary and Michael Jaharis Gallery of Archaic and Classical Greek Art  |  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    7221024
  • Christopher Noey
    1280852
  • My name is Chris Noey, and I'm a video producer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and before I moved to New York, I actually

  • grew up in Tennessee, in East Tennessee, close to Knoxville, and there a lot of reminders

  • of my childhood state when I go around the museum.

  • The first, most striking thing about Tennessee is its natural beauty. When I say I'm from Tennessee people always say, "Oh I drove through Tennessee. It was very beautiful."

  • They don't usually say much else after that. They don't say it's interesting or cosmopolitan or exciting, but they always say it's beautiful. And I have to say, walking around the museum one day I saw

  • this painting that just said to me "Tennessee." And when I went to look at the label, in fact it was exactly like something I would have seen when I was a kid.

  • I can't say I ever saw anything like this when I was growing up. I guess it had all gone off to the museums a long time ago, but sometimes when you walked by

  • the riverbanks and flat areas where people could have lived, if you were lucky you might find an arrowhead or some trace of the Native Americans that lived there in earlier centuries.

  • Tennessee was a place that had a lot of larger-than-life characters. Benjamin Franklin, this great sculpture by Houdon, reminds me that Tennessee at one point was called the State of Franklin. In the 1780s, the locals decided to create a new state. They came up with Franklin, in part hoping to curry favor with America's great statesman. Apparently

  • Benjamin Franklin would have nothing to do with them and the whole thing fell apart, and it was a few years later, in 1796, when Tennessee entered the union as the sort of western-most state, and it really was the west of the United States for a while.

  • So when Andrew Jackson, who was our first Tennessee president, was elected, he was elected as the western president at that point. He was not good on slavery and he wasn't good on Native Americans, but none of that's evident when you look at this

  • depiction of him by Hiram Powers of marble where he looks like some great Roman statesman. In my childhood I never imagined anybody so august.

  • In my own childhood growing up, born in the '50s and growing up in the '60s in East Tennessee, there were still

  • a lot of remnants of the extraordinary poverty of the South in general after the Civil War that was highlighted by photographers in the '30s and the '40s.

  • People like Walker Evans for instance, but many others as well. And I remember we would go to the big city of Knoxville to go shopping and you would see

  • preachers on the street, and you would see these remarkable, eccentric store windows. You'd see these wonderful

  • signs sometimes on businesses that were so disconnected from the mass culture of the rest of the United States. But things were changing, and that was due in very large part to these

  • great public works projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority, a great New Deal project, which built these extraordinary dams and electrical plants all over the state of Tennessee, where flooding was such a problem.

  • It was only after I started working at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that I realized that the Memphis, Egypt that produced these great works of art was also the inspiration for the name of Memphis, Tennessee.

  • And then Memphis was also the inspiration for this very kooky furniture design by Ettore Sottsass, his "Memphis" series.

  • He liked the ambivalence of the kind of connection between the ancient Egypt of the pharaohs and the Memphis, Tennessee of Elvis Presley fame.

  • I think about Tennessee a lot as I go through the museum, but I think the thing that reminds me most of it is when I look down and see the pink Tennessee marble that we use in the floors of much of The Metropolitan

  • Museum of Art. In the East Coast it's a real prestige material. I have to say, it was very plentiful when I was a kid, so when I look at it I think more of the restroom in my junior high school. So the pink marble of Tennessee is always a reminder to me as I go through the museum

  • of the state that I grew up in.

  • 1979.625.45
    Poplars and Hillside, Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, 1967, Eliot Porter (American), Dye transfer print Gift of the artist, in honor of David Hunter McAlpin, 1979 (1979.625.45) © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
  • 1979.625.13
    Red Tree Near Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, 1967, Eliot Porter (American), Dye transfer print Gift of the artist, in honor of David Hunter McAlpin, 1979 (1979.625.13) © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
  • 13.53
    Tennessee, 1866, Alexander H. Wyant (American), Oil on canvas Gift of Mrs. George E. Schanck, in memory of her brother, Arthur Hoppock Hearn (13.53)
  • 1979.206.446
    Pendant with Serpent Design, 13th–14th century, Mississippian peoples; Tennessee, Shell The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979 (1979.206.446)
  • 33.65.407
    View on Tennessee River looking toward Chattanooga, ca. 1864, George N. Barnard (American), Albumen silver print from glass negative Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933 (33.65.407)
  • 72.6
    Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), 18th century (1778), Jean-Antoine Houdon (French), French (Paris), Marble Gift of John Bard, 1872 (72.6)
  • 94.14
    Andrew Jackson, 1834–35; this carving, 1839, Hiram Powers (American), Marble Gift of Mrs. Frances V. Nash, 1894 (94.14)
  • 33.65.404
    Chattanooga, Tennessee, ca. 1864, George N. Barnard (American), Albumen silver print from glass negative Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933 (33.65.404)
  • 57.519.5
    Mr. and Mrs. Summers of Monteagle, Tennessee, 1941, printed ca. 1954, Edward Weston (American), Gelatin silver print David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1957 (57.519.5) ©1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents
  • 1994.258.22
    [Wooden Farm Building, Tennessee], 1936–37, Walker Evans (American), Film negative Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.258.22)
  • 1994.253.378.3
    [Street Preacher and Wagon on Sidewalk, Memphis, Tennessee], 1937, Walker Evans (American), Film negative Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.253.378.3)
  • 2005.263.1-.98
    [Album of Photographs of Electric Signs by the Gray Sign Company, Knoxville, Tennessee], 1911, Unknown Artist, American School, Gelatin silver print Purchase, Saundra B. Lane Gift, 2005 (2005.263.1–.98)
  • 49.128
    Water, 1945, Charles Sheeler (American), Oil on canvas Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1949 (49.128)
  • 24.2.2
    Kneeling statue of Amenemope-em-hat, Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Psamtik I, ca. 664–610 b.c., Egyptian; Apparently from Memphis, Ptah temple, Graywacke Rogers Fund, 1924 (24.2.2)
  • 1997.460.1ab
    "Carlton" room divider, 1981, Ettore Sottsass (Italian, born Austria), Designer; Memphis s.r.l., Manufacturer, Wood, plastic laminate John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 1997 (1997.460.1ab)
  • 1992.216.1
    "Murmansk" fruit dish, 1982, Ettore Sottsass (Italian, born Austria); Manufacturer: Memphis, Silver Gift of Ronald S. Kane, 1992 (1992.216.1)
  • Poplars and Hillside, Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, 1967, Eliot Porter (American), Dye transfer print Gift of the artist, in honor of David Hunter McAlpin, 1979 (1979.625.45) © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
    Red Tree Near Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, 1967, Eliot Porter (American), Dye transfer print Gift of the artist, in honor of David Hunter McAlpin, 1979 (1979.625.13) © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
    Tennessee, 1866, Alexander H. Wyant (American), Oil on canvas Gift of Mrs. George E. Schanck, in memory of her brother, Arthur Hoppock Hearn (13.53)
    Pendant with Serpent Design, 13th–14th century, Mississippian peoples; Tennessee, Shell The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979 (1979.206.446)
    View on Tennessee River looking toward Chattanooga, ca. 1864, George N. Barnard (American), Albumen silver print from glass negative Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933 (33.65.407)
    Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), 18th century (1778), Jean-Antoine Houdon (French), French (Paris), Marble Gift of John Bard, 1872 (72.6)
    Andrew Jackson, 1834–35; this carving, 1839, Hiram Powers (American), Marble Gift of Mrs. Frances V. Nash, 1894 (94.14)
    Chattanooga, Tennessee, ca. 1864, George N. Barnard (American), Albumen silver print from glass negative Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933 (33.65.404)
    Mr. and Mrs. Summers of Monteagle, Tennessee, 1941, printed ca. 1954, Edward Weston (American), Gelatin silver print David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1957 (57.519.5) ©1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents
    [Wooden Farm Building, Tennessee], 1936–37, Walker Evans (American), Film negative Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.258.22)
    [Street Preacher and Wagon on Sidewalk, Memphis, Tennessee], 1937, Walker Evans (American), Film negative Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.253.378.3)
    [Album of Photographs of Electric Signs by the Gray Sign Company, Knoxville, Tennessee], 1911, Unknown Artist, American School, Gelatin silver print Purchase, Saundra B. Lane Gift, 2005 (2005.263.1–.98)
    Water, 1945, Charles Sheeler (American), Oil on canvas Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1949 (49.128)
    Kneeling statue of Amenemope-em-hat, Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Psamtik I, ca. 664–610 b.c., Egyptian; Apparently from Memphis, Ptah temple, Graywacke Rogers Fund, 1924 (24.2.2)
    "Carlton" room divider, 1981, Ettore Sottsass (Italian, born Austria), Designer; Memphis s.r.l., Manufacturer, Wood, plastic laminate John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 1997 (1997.460.1ab)
    "Murmansk" fruit dish, 1982, Ettore Sottsass (Italian, born Austria); Manufacturer: Memphis, Silver Gift of Ronald S. Kane, 1992 (1992.216.1)
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    Poplars and Hillside, Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
    1967
    Eliot Porter (American)
    Dye transfer print
    Gift of the artist, in honor of David Hunter McAlpin, 1979 (1979.625.45)
    © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Red Tree Near Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
    1967
    Eliot Porter (American)
    Dye transfer print
    Gift of the artist, in honor of David Hunter McAlpin, 1979 (1979.625.13)
    © 1990 Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Tennessee
    1866
    Alexander H. Wyant (American)
    Oil on canvas
    Gift of Mrs. George E. Schanck, in memory of her brother, Arthur Hoppock Hearn (13.53)
    On view: Gallery 761
    American Paintings and SculptureFirst and Second Floors
    Pendant with Serpent Design
    13th–14th century
    Mississippian peoples; Tennessee
    Shell
    The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979 (1979.206.446)
    On view: Gallery 356
    Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the AmericasFirst Floor
    View on Tennessee River looking toward Chattanooga
    ca. 1864
    George N. Barnard (American)
    Albumen silver print from glass negative
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933 (33.65.407)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)
    18th century (1778)
    Jean-Antoine Houdon (French)
    French (Paris)
    Marble
    Gift of John Bard, 1872 (72.6)
    On view: Gallery 753
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Andrew Jackson
    1834–35; this carving, 1839
    Hiram Powers (American)
    Marble
    Gift of Mrs. Frances V. Nash, 1894 (94.14)
    On view: Gallery 760
    American Paintings and SculptureFirst and Second Floors
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    ca. 1864
    George N. Barnard (American)
    Albumen silver print from glass negative
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933 (33.65.404)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Mr. and Mrs. Summers of Monteagle, Tennessee
    1941, printed ca. 1954
    Edward Weston (American)
    Gelatin silver print
    David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1957 (57.519.5)
    ©1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    [Wooden Farm Building, Tennessee]
    1936–37
    Walker Evans (American)
    Film negative
    Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.258.22)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    [Street Preacher and Wagon on Sidewalk, Memphis, Tennessee]
    1937
    Walker Evans (American)
    Film negative
    Walker Evans Archive, 1994 (1994.253.378.3)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    [Album of Photographs of Electric Signs by the Gray Sign Company, Knoxville, Tennessee]
    1911
    Unknown Artist, American School
    Gelatin silver print
    Purchase, Saundra B. Lane Gift, 2005 (2005.263.1–.98)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Water
    1945
    Charles Sheeler (American)
    Oil on canvas
    Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1949 (49.128)
    On view: Gallery 911
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    Kneeling statue of Amenemope-em-hat
    Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Psamtik I, ca. 664–610 b.c.
    Egyptian; Apparently from Memphis, Ptah temple
    Graywacke
    Rogers Fund, 1924 (24.2.2)
    On view: Gallery 123
    Egyptian ArtFirst Floor
    "Carlton" room divider
    1981
    Ettore Sottsass (Italian, born Austria), Designer; Memphis s.r.l., Manufacturer
    Wood, plastic laminate
    John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 1997 (1997.460.1ab)
    On view: Gallery 909
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor
    "Murmansk" fruit dish
    1982
    Ettore Sottsass (Italian, born Austria); Manufacturer: Memphis
    Silver
    Gift of Ronald S. Kane, 1992 (1992.216.1)
    Not on view
    Modern and Contemporary ArtSecond Floor

    © 2011 The Metropolitan Museum of Art