Exhibits - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Our Exhibits

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is home to permanent exhibits that focus on the story and impact of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and a Special Exhibit Gallery that features rotating exhibits created in-house, by guest curators, and by other institutions and museums. Our artifact, archival, and digital collections are used in our own exhibits and are also available for research and study purposes.

Several iconic women in old-time music – Lily May Ledford of the Coon Creek Girls, Janette Carter, Ramona Jones, Ola Belle Reed, Rose Maddox, and Elizabeth Cotten (sitting) – photographed in the 1980s. From the Mike Seeger Collection (Series Addition of June 2011: Photographs ca. 1950—2000), #20009, Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

I've Endured: Women in Old-Time Music

Old-time music is described and experienced in different ways and for different purposes, but at its heart, old-time is mountain folk music with strong ties to Appalachia and the diverse peoples who have called it home. While old-time music has primarily been related to “hillbilly music” and its roots and branches can be found in the development of country and bluegrass, it is one of the melting pots of American culture, connecting to multiple genres, influences, and instruments. Women have always been central to old-time music – in the home and on the stage, and as instrumentalists and singers, preservationists, activists, promoters, and cultural memory keepers. I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music highlights the many women who have been integral to this music, exploring the challenges they’ve faced making a career in the field, the ways they have impacted the genre, and their vision for the future of old-time. Join us to see, hear, and experience their stories!

Interactive Permanent Exhibits

Immerse yourself in the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions and beyond through exciting theater experiences, interactive touchscreen exhibits, artifacts and photographs, and in-depth displays. You'll also get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the studio at Radio Bristol, which broadcasts live from within the museum’s permanent exhibits space.

Temporary Events Birthplace of Country Music Museum

Temporary Exhibits

Explore the Special Exhibits Gallery where rotating exhibits are curated in-house or by guest curators and other institutions, including the Smithsonian. This space changes throughout the year and features exhibits that delve into a wide range of topics—from music and Appalachian culture to history, science, and art.

Past Special Exhibits

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Learn More

Keep Bristol’s rich music heritage alive for future generations. Make a donation to the Museum or become a member of our 1927 Society.