Advanced Search | Search A!:
Volume 24, Number 10 — November 2017

CASS wins Pinnacle Award for "DeVault Tavern" exhibition

The DeVault Tavern, built in 1819-21 by Frederick DeVault, is located in the community of Leesburg, approximately five miles west of Jonesborough.
The DeVault Tavern, built in 1819-21 by Frederick DeVault, is located in the community of Leesburg, approximately five miles west of Jonesborough.

July 06, 2015

JOHNSON CITY East Tennessee State University's Center for Appalachian Studies and Services received the 2015 Pinnacle Award for Special Projects for "The DeVault Tavern: An Interdisciplinary Exhibition, Programming and Publication."

Established in 1997 by the nonprofit Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, the Pinnacle Awards program acknowledges the contributions organizations, businesses and individuals make to the regional tourism industry. NETTA serves Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties.

In 2014, CASS received a $25,000 Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This grant, with additional support from ETSU's Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, helped fund the interdisciplinary exhibition, "DeVault Tavern," which was held in the Reece Museum, a unit of the Center, from Sept. 11-Dec. 11, 2014.

The Center published an accompanying 112-page book by the same name and coordinated seven community programming events. Hundreds of people attended these lectures, workshops and panel discussions. In the three months the "DeVault Tavern" exhibit was on display, almost 4,000 guests visited the Reece Museum.

The DeVault Tavern, built in 1819-21 by Frederick DeVault, is located in the community of Leesburg, approximately five miles west of Jonesborough. The tavern once served as a waystation and inn along the region's main stagecoach route, and then continued as a working farm until the 1960s. A regional landmark, it is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The tavern remained in the DeVault family until outside parties purchased it in 2009. That year, Brooklyn-based artist Paul Kennedy, who grew up in Jonesborough, began photographing and researching the DeVault Tavern.

The culmination of this work was the "DeVault Tavern" exhibition, in which 20 of Kennedy's photographs, along with an extensive collection of artifacts and archival material, were displayed. Some of the archival material was loaned by the Archives of Appalachia, another unit of CASS.

CASS was established in 1984 as a Tennessee Center of Excellence. Through initiatives like "The DeVault Tavern: An Interdisciplinary Exhibition, Programming, and Publication," the center continues to fulfill its mission to document and showcase Appalachia's past, celebrate its cultural heritage and promote an understanding of the influences that shape its identity.

A! ExtraTopics: Achievements