National Ornamental Metal Museum
The National Ornamental Metal Museum is a museum in Memphis, Tennessee for the collection, preservation, and exhibition of historical and contemporary metalwork. The museum is housed in a 1930s brick building on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River that was formerly used as a U.S. Marine Hospital. Leased from the government by Abe Sauer of Tennessee Fabricating Co.for the purpose of founding his vision, a museum devoted to the art of metal craft, it originally housed Mr. Sauer's private collection which was later stolen. Mr.Sauer also helped found NOMMA the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association.
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.
The museum has over 3000 items in its permanent collection, and also hosts travelling exhibitions. There is also a working smithy and foundry on site. In addition to displaying metalwork inside the museum they also offer hands-on classes in the museums workshops.
Every Fall, they hold a Repair Days Weekend, where volunteer metalsmiths from across the country will repair virtually any sort of metal object while the public watches. Estimates are free, actual prices for repairs are generally low as it is a popular fundraising event. All proceeds from the repair work benefit the Museum.
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