Metal Museum opened its doors in 1979
History and Location
In 1975, at the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association conference in Atlanta, GA, an industry museum was proposed. On February 5, 1979, the dream took life on a 3.2 acre site overlooking the Mississippi River just south of downtown Memphis.
As a non-profit organization with an educational focus, the Metal Museum met the usage requirements of the Heritage and Conservation Act and a lease was obtained in July 1976. Two years later, renovation of two buildings began and the Metal Museum opened to the public on February 5, 1979. Since that time, the Museum has renovated three historic buildings, constructed a blacksmith shop, the Lawler Foundry and a repairs and restoration lab and installed a gazebo overlooking the river.
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.
A Teaching and Learning Institution
In addition to exhibiting some of the finest metalwork, one of the Museum’s greatest assets is that it is a working museum, completing small
and large-scale projects for public and private clients. It also serves as an educational facility and training ground for young artists.
Learning opportunities include:
· Training in advanced blacksmithing
· Forging and casting demonstrations
· Classes, including basic and advanced blacksmithing, repoussé, casting and enameling.
· Forging on the River – annual blacksmithing conference
· F.I.R.E. - a casting conference
It 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.