The Metal Museum is the only institution in the United States devoted exclusively to the advancement of the art and craft of fine metalwork. This is achieved through exhibitions, collections, conservation, restoration and consulting services, classes, internship opportunities, artist residencies and apprenticeships, research and onsite fabrication of artwork and architectural elements.
The value of the Metal Museum extends well beyond its exhibitions and facilities. As the only institution of its kind, it leads the way in recognizing and promoting the careers of metalsmiths. Each year we honor a Master Metalsmith whose work and influence extends well beyond the metal arts field. Former Master Metalsmiths include Tom Joyce, Mary Lee Hu and Marilyn da Silva, among others. Our Tributaries series, established in 2008, recognizes professional artists with small solo exhibitions of current work. Both programs celebrate talent and diversity within the field and include artists working in a range of materials, including ferrous and nonferrous metals, hollowware, jewelry and enameling. Other exhibitions feature traditional and contemporary examples of fine metalwork by national and international smiths.
The museum also serves as a gathering place or “home” for the metalsmith community. With strong ties to metalsmithing and craft programs throughout the country, the Museum serves as an educational facility and training ground for young artists. Each year the Museum hosts Repair Days, a three-day fund-raiser during which volunteer metalsmiths from around the country repair metal items to raise money for Museum programs. More than just a fund-raiser, Repair Days serves as an opportunity for emerging and established metal artists from around the world to network and exchange ideas. In addition to hands-on training, there are demonstrations and gallery talks.
The Metal Museum has become the center for metal arts - a place that actively promotes artists and their work and plays a vital role in the recognition and collection of metal work and the teaching of innovative practices. It is a place that serves an international community of artists and artisans creating work that is steadily building a strong following and important place within the contemporary art dialog.
The Metal Museum is funded through the generosity of our members and donors and through ArtsMemphis, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Keeler Family.