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A Day at the Fair with the David Ewing Collection


In an era when travel was limited, world's fairs and similar expositions brought the world to people where they lived. The state of Tennessee chose to celebrate its one-hundredth birthday in 1897 with an exposition whose mission was both economic and cultural and which was designed to help heal the deep wounds left by the Civil War. Today the grounds of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition remain as one of Nashville's most beloved parks, home to the Parthenon which was built as the Exposition's Palace of Fine Arts.

In 2011, historian and collector David Ewing, a ninth generation Nashvillian, first loaned his extensive collection of objects related to the Tennessee Centennial Exposition to the Parthenon Museum to share his fascination with the fair and inspire similar interest in others. The resulting exhibit, A Day at the Fair, is now in its third edition, updated with over 65 artifacts on display for the first time. While continuing to give modern-day travelers a feel for what it must have been like to visit the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, the exhibit is expanded with an epilogue about the fair's impact on Nashville's emergence as a cultural center in the twentieth century.

The Parthenon invites you to A Day at the Fair with the David Ewing Collection. The exhibit will open on Tuesday, July 4th, from 10am to 2pm and will remain in the Parthenon's West Gallery through January 27, 2018.