About the Museum
The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art offers a variety of multi-disciplined exhibitions annually. The permanent exhibition of the Martin Petroglyph is on display in a replicated bluff shelter setting. The 3,000 pound boulder depicts human footprints and snakes carved by the prehistoric people of northwest Alabama. Objects including shell and stone carvings, pottery, projectile points, among others interpret the mastery of the earliest people of our area. Touring trunks are available at no charge to 4th grade classes that teach Alabama history. The trunks contain teacher guides, resource books, tapes and reproductions of prehistoric artifacts excavated from the Tennessee River basin by archaeologists. The contents are designed to assist teachers to relate the artistry and innovation of the prehistoric people of the Tennessee Valley.
A rare and historic Chickasaw beaded and embroidered bandolier strap is also on display. The strap belonged to Chief George Colbert for whom the county is named.
Admission during the week is $5 for adults, $3 for students & children, and free for TVAA members.
Admission may increase for special exhibitions.
Tuesday – Friday, 9am-5pm
Closed to the public between exhibitions
Please check this site or call 256-383-0533 to confirm holiday closings.
The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art is located at 511 N. Water Street, Tuscumbia, Alabama adjacent to the Helen Keller birthplace. Enter the Museum via the West entrance facing the birthplace.
To retain the integrity of Tuscumbia’s beautiful Commons, the Art Association has elected not to build a parking lot on the green, but rather to allow visitors to park on the perimeter of the Common around the Museum. Nose-in parking is recommended. Parking is also available in a city-owned parking lot on Water Street. However, one must walk to the West entrance to enter the Museum.
Photography or videography is not permitted by any device in the Museum for most exhibits. Inquire about special exceptions upon entering the Museum.
Safety, Security and Preservation
To ensure the safety of exhibitions and Museum visitors, book-bags and large purses are not allowed and visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 1 foot from art objects. The use of pens is not allowed in the galleries; pencils may be used to take notes or sketch. The use of electronic devices is not permitted in the galleries.
The museum is fully accessible but there is no designated parking of any kind on the Commons. A limited number of wheelchairs are available. Three paintings from the Museum’s permanent collection have been replicated in tactile reproductions. They are available for hands-on study by the visually impaired as well as through verbal description. Call to schedule a tour that includes these works.
Schedule a tour
Docent-led group tours are available for both adults and children. The tour guides have information that will help your group interpret and develop a better understanding for works in a specific exhibition.
TOURS FOR STUDENTS
Make the Museum part of your school year by booking a tour that correlates with the Alabama Courses of Study in visual arts, social studies, language arts, mathematics, and science. Our docents engage students in learning-centered, inquiry-based tours that promote the curriculum and encourage skills such as evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking. Guided visits also nurture an understanding of cross-content disciplines, and develop confidence, curiosity, and creativity.
A group may have no fewer than 8 students and no more than one hundred students (subject to change with individual exhibition) with one chaperone required for every ten students. The Museum reserves the right to limit the number of adult chaperones participating in school group guided visits.
Students: $3 each ($2 each for groups of 15 or more)
Adult chaperones: $4 each
One teacher receives complimentary admission with a group of 15 or more.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I BOOK A SCHOOL GROUP VISIT?
Reservations are required of all groups visiting the Museum. Call 256-383-0533 to make a reservation.
MY SCHOOL GROUP INCLUDES STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. DO I NEED TO MAKE SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS?
Yes. The Museum welcomes children of all abilities. Let us know if there are special provisions we can provide to meet the needs of your students.
WHAT IF ADDITIONAL PARENTS WANT TO GO ON THE TOUR?
Please let us know as soon as possible so we can determine if we can accommodate additional visitors. Additional adults are welcome if they do not cause the size of the group to exceed the tour capacity.
DO YOU HAVE A PLACE WHERE MY GROUP CAN EAT LUNCH?
We are sorry, but the Museum does not have indoor lunchroom facilities, nor are we able to store bag lunches. You may have lunch or snacks outside on the grounds of the Museum, on the bus, or at the neighboring Spring Park before or after your visit (weather permitting). If you use the Museum grounds, let us know in advance and please make arrangements to collect and dispose of your trash.
IF WE ARRIVE EARLIER THAN OUR SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT, IS THERE A PLACE WE CAN WAIT FOR OUR TOUR?
Due to the number of groups scheduled throughout the day, we ask that you arrive at your scheduled time. Your group is welcome to wait on the grounds of the Museum (weather permitting) until your scheduled visit.
HOW LONG ARE WE ALLOWED TO STAY IN THE MUSEUM?
The Museum does not offer a place for groups to gather before or after a scheduled tour. The schedule for other groups will determine how long any group can stay at the conclusion of their scheduled tour.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO TALK WITH A MUSEUM REPRESENTATIVE PRIOR TO MY TOUR?
Of course. If you have a general question you may contact the Museum’s Administrative Assistant from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have questions regarding an exhibition, contact the Museum’s Curator Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHEN IS MUSEUM ADMISSION DUE?
Admission is payable upon your arrival at the Museum. Your group leader is responsible for the entire amount due; group members may not pay individually. Group payment may also be made in advance by check, credit card, or purchase order. Checks should be mailed to:
The Tennessee Valley Museum of Art
511 N. Water St.
Tuscumbia, Alabama 35674
Refunds or credits will not be given for prepayments or pre-cut checks if the number in the group is less than the prepaid amount.
IS THERE A PLACE FOR BUSES OR VANS TO PARK AT THE MUSEUM?
Yes. We recommend buses and vans unload students at the sidewalk on the Almon Street side of the Museum heading West and pick up on the North Common side heading East to prevent children from crossing the street. Vehicles may park in the city-owned gravel parking lot across Water Street from the Museum.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE MY CLASS FOR OUR VISIT?
We encourage you to discuss the exhibition and museum policies with your students prior to your trip.
- Teachers and/or chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their groups at all times.
- Visitors may not touch the works of art.
- Visitors should keep their voices low.
- Running and rough play are prohibited.
- Food, beverages and gum are prohibited.
- Photography or videography is not permitted by any device.
- To ensure the safety of exhibitions and other visitors, book-bags and large purses are not allowed and should be left on buses or in the trunks of cars.
- Visitors are asked to maintain a distance of at least 1 foot from art objects but tour more distance may be required.
- The use of pens is not allowed in the galleries; pencils may be used to take notes or sketch.
- Do not place paper against walls to take notes. A limited number of clip boards are available upon request.
- The use of electronic devices is not permitted in the galleries.
- Follow the instructions of Museum personnel.
- Resource materials that will help you prepare your students for specific exhibitions may be available for selected exhibitions. Inquire about these resources when you make your reservations.
THINGS TO DISCUSS WITH YOUR STUDENTS.
CONSIDER OTHERS DURING YOUR TOUR:
The Museum is a place for looking, thinking, and quiet discussion. Personal conversations between students or between adults is discouraged during docent led tours. Discussion regarding the exhibition is encouraged, but remind students that voices should be respectfully low. Please be aware of others waiting to view a particular work and be courteous about moving on promptly.
RESPECT FOR MUSEUM OBJECTS:
Do not lean on walls or door jambs. Do not touch any of the objects in the Museum. The invisible oil on your fingertips leaves a film on any surface touched and over time the film attracts dust and pollutants from the air, damaging and obscuring surfaces. Please refrain from pointing or gesturing when you are close to unprotected works of art as you might accidentally damage it.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND SKETCHING:
Photography is not permitted in any of the galleries. Sketching is usually permitted in most exhibitions. Ballpoint pens, ink, markers, fountain pens, or watercolors are not permitted in Museum galleries at any time. Crayon, pastel, and charcoal are permitted only on Museum-supervised tours that specifically authorize their use. If you are sketching, please do not hinder visitor traffic flow in the galleries. During periods of high attendance, the Museum reserves the right to make any necessary adjustments to the sketching policy.
BRINGING ITEMS INTO THE MUSEUM:
The Museum reserves the right to decide what can and cannot be brought into the Museum. Food (including gum and candy) and drinks are prohibited in the galleries. Umbrellas, shopping bags, backpacks, sports equipment, musical instruments, luggage, cameras, are also prohibited. Museum staff has the authority to disapprove other objects.
LOST AND FOUND:
Call the office at 256-383-0533 if you find something has been left during your visit.
Inform the nearest docent or staff member if you require first aid.
In the event of an emergency, follow the directions of Museum staff or docent.Download the Field Trips Form