Metal Museum

Memphis, TN   |  http://www.metalmuseum.org/

Mission

The Metal Museum's mission is to preserve, promote, and advance the art and craft of fine metalwork. This is achieved through four interrelated program areas - exhibitions, collections, studio practice, and community education and engagement.

Ruling year info

1979

Executive Director

Ms. Carissa Hussong

Main address

374 Metal Museum Dr

Memphis, TN 38106 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

62-1066198

NTEE code info

Art Museums (A51)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Metal is a part of everyday life for people across the globe. It is found in the built environment as structure, architecture, and decoration, in modes of transportation and in cookware as utilitarian necessities, and on bodies and in homes for its aesthetic qualities. Despite its importance to everyday life, however, there remains only one museum in the United States, and only a few in the world, dedicated specifically to this media. Because of this unique position, the Metal Museum, through its core programming, is able to contextualize the roles and uses of metal to create an understanding of the craft and its history and the impact that history has on contemporary art and design in a way that no other institution is able. In doing so, the Museum is able to serve a broad range of people - from the world-renowned artist to the trade school student, to the rural hobbyist welder, to the North Memphis second grader who has never seen blacksmithing or casting in progress.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Exhibitions

Exhibitions provide opportunities to showcase, interpret, and contextualize the work of metal artists. The "Tributaries" exhibition series features emerging and mid-career artists while the Master Metalsmith series offers retrospectives to established artists in the field. In addition to these series, the Museum curates thematic group exhibitions and borrows traveling exhibitions that fit within the curatorial focus of artwork created by contemporary metalsmiths influenced by and working during the Post-Craft Revival in the United States, specifically from 1960 to today. Exhibitions feature a variety of metalwork such as jewelry, hollowware, furniture, sculpture, tools, and ornamental architectural pieces, and invite visitors to consider process, aesthetics, and function.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Collections aim to preserve the field of American metalsmithing and include the permanent object collection, the library collection, and the archives collection. These collections focus on artists and artworks from the Post-Craft Revival period (1960s to present) and also include historic works that contextualize the importance of metal art making today. The collection serves as a resource for artists and researchers and is accessible through exhibitions, online catalogs, loans, and by appointment. The permanent object collection is made up of over 3,000 objects that represent a broad spectrum of metalwork, including contemporary hollowware, sculpture, furniture, architectural ironwork, tools, and studio jewelry as well as drawings and historic objects dating back to the Renaissance. The library collection contains over 6,000 books and portfolios on metalwork, including rare books on decorative and fine arts. The archive collection includes over 10,000 images, A/V materials, and archival materials.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Metals Studios - comprised of the Blacksmith Shop, Foundry, Small Metals/Restoration Lab, and Design Lab - provide educational opportunities for emerging and advanced metalsmiths while also providing the general public with demonstrations, classes, and other opportunities to engage with working artists. Through commissions and repairs, the Museum's artists preserve and advance the filed by bridging traditional metalworking processes with contemporary technologies and new innovations. This is achieved through the Museum's apprenticeship and internship programs, conferences, visiting artists, community education, and the commitment to undertaking unique or unusual projects.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Community Education and Engagement programming offers a variety of on-site and off-site programs for youth and adults. On-site classes in the Museum's Smithy and Foundry are open to beginner and intermediate students while specialized conferences are offered for advanced students. Educational tours of exhibitions are offered for schools, organizations, and corporations. Public gallery talks invite the community to learn more about artwork on display as well as techniques and processes. Hands-on activities for all ages occur both on-site and off-site throughout the year. Off-site engagement and participation occurs through the M4 (Mini Mobile Metal Museum), which is taken into the community for blacksmithing and casting demonstrations and hands-on activities. The Museum facilitates partnership programs with schools and other nonprofits through the Metal Museum Youth Initiative, which introduces new generations to the art and craft of metalsmithing.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

American Alliance of Museums - Member 2019

Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau 2019

Tennesseans for the Arts Member 2019

Tennessee Association of Museums 2019

Momentum Nonprofit Partners 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Like many organizations, the Metal Museum saw a significant decline in paid admissions in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total number of artists served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Artists and performers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The estimated number of artists served by all programs.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of works exhibited

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Exhibitions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The number of objects on display in temporary exhibitions. An estimated additional 250 objects are displayed in permanent collection galleries.

Total number of works acquired this year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Collections

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Total number of classes offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The current strategic plan identifies six (6) institutional goals in service of the Museum’s mission to preserve, promote, and advance the art and craft of fine metalwork. These goals are reflective of the Museum’s four program areas, as well as administrative and operational capacities.

The goals include 1) Exhibitions: Position the Museum as the leading exhibitor of fine metalwork by pursuing artistic and curatorial excellence, including craftsmanship and creativity as well as original research, publication, and curation; 2) Collections: Develop a comprehensive and diverse repository of the finest examples of American metalsmithing; 3a) Education: Foster and promote learning, appreciation, and skill development through educational offerings accessible to all communities in and around Memphis for youth, adults, and emerging and professional metalsmiths; 3b) Provide career enhancement opportunities for emerging and mid-career metal artists through two-year apprenticeships, summer and academic internships, and an artist-in-residence program that focus on technical training, networking, and professional skill development; 4) Marketing: Gain greater recognition as a national and international center for metalsmiths; 5) Campus Planning: Update and expand the facilities to meet current needs and to take advantage of future opportunities; and 6) Financial and Operational Stewardship: Ensure the ongoing financial and operational stability of the Museum. In addition to these goals, each program area maintains specific goals for continued success.

The Strategic Plan is reviewed and updated every three years by the Board of Trustees. The current plan addresses FY19-FY21 and was approved on May 12, 2018. The Strategic Plan does not specifically address the Metal Museum’s expansion plans for the Memphis College of Art’s Rust Hall. This is outlined in a separate Expansion Plan. Should the Museum be selected as the future tenant, the Strategic Plan will be revised.

To achieve the organization’s strategic goals, the Museum implements several strategies each fiscal year within its four primary program areas – exhibitions, collections, studio practice in the onsite Metalworking Facilities, and community education and engagement.

In FY21, the Metal Museum will present five (5) special exhibitions, including the annual “Master Metalsmith” exhibition and “Tributaries” series, as well as thematic exhibitions. The exhibitions team will continue to increase the quality of the gallery environments in order to better secure loans from other institutions. In doing so, the Museum will be able to more accurately contextualize the work of metal artists by showcasing the finest examples of artwork. Increasing diversity and inclusion will also remain a primary strategy for the exhibition and collections staff throughout FY21. In addition to projects that inform increased diversity, the collections staff will also spend much of FY21 on projects, such as cataloguing and re-housing projects, that increase accessibility to the collection.

In FY21, the Metalworking Facilities will expand networking opportunities, with a goal to develop relationships for future programs, such as visiting artists and artist in residence programs. Developing these relationships, among other tasks in the Metalworking Facilities throughout much of FY21, will enable the Museum to prepare for an upcoming expansion of programming. In the Metalworking Facilities, this specifically entails evaluating past programming such as annual conferences and visiting artists to develop a plan for the implementation of future programs that focus on technical training, professional skill development, and networking, as well as seeking opportunities to expand the apprenticeship program through the addition of a small metals apprentice and a second foundry apprentice.

Beyond opportunities for metal artists, and at the core of all other program areas, the Museum fosters and promotes learning, appreciation, and skill development through its Community Education and Engagement program offerings. Several audiences will be addressed through these programs, including families, youth, and seniors. As in previous years, the Museum will continue to work to increase class and workshop enrollment rates and the number of guided tours offered each year. The Museum also remains committed to participation in off-site events across Shelby County at schools, nonprofit organizations, and corporate locations. From these events, the Museum has created or furthered relationships with other organizations and looks forward to continuing existing and developing new partnerships in FY21.

The success of the Metal Museum is a direct reflection of the staff’s ability to develop, facilitate, and evaluate highly successful programs. Over the past several years, the staff has strategically grown in response to the success of new programming. The staff is now comprised of 18 full-time employees with a wealth of knowledge in their respective departments. The average tenure of the permanent staff is five (5) years. Apprentices, who are employed full-time by the Museum for a two-year period, are not included in this average. The Museum anticipates being able to add to its staff in the latter half of FY21, specifically additional development and administrative staff to assist with the activities related to the expansion campaign as well as ongoing operations. As the Museum goes through the hiring process, it will encourage diverse applicants to build a more culturally diverse staff.

The staff is overseen by Executive Director Carissa Hussong, who since 2008 has ensured the Museum not only achieves its mission and vision, but also achieves annual goals that contribute to continued success and growth. In addition to department-specific knowledge, staff members have a robust and varied background in the arts, museums, and metals, which together contributes to their collective enthusiasm for the Metal Museum and its continued success. Alongside this knowledge and dedication, the Museum leverages the knowledge and skills of a passionate team of volunteers and interns, as well as artists who are served through the Museum’s various programs.

FY20 marked another year of significant growth in programs and constituents served. In FY20, the Metal Museum served over 45,000 constituents through onsite and offsite programming, a 31% increase as compared to the previous fiscal year. FY20’s growth is representative of trends at the Museum over the past decade, in which time the Museum’s exhibition and educational programming has more than doubled. While this growth has brought increased awards, recognition, and support to the Museum’s programs, it has also resulted in the Museum filling its existing facilities to capacity. Although the Museum has retrofitted its historic buildings to meet the current needs of visitors, participants, and art lenders, these solutions are not ideal in the long term.

Therefore, to maintain the Museum’s current rates of programming growth, the Board of Trustees have began exploring opportunities for expansion. After completing several studies, including a Campus Master Plan, conceptual renderings for the construction of two new buildings at the current location, and a fit test study of Rust Hall in Overton Park, the Board determined that an expansion into Rust Hall in Overton Park is the most desirable opportunity to accommodate continued growth in exhibitions, collections, educational programming, and community engagement. The Metal Museum is participating in the City of Memphis’s process to re-imagine Rust Hall.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Informal feedback from participants,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Metal Museum
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Metal Museum

Board of directors
as of 03/28/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Bryan Smith

Pietrangelo Smith PLC

Term: 2019 - 2021

Bryan Smith

Real Estate Law

Douglas Ferris

Finance

Richard Aycock

Gastro One

Michael Bondi

Artist, Michael Bondi Metal Design

Bruce Campbell

Financial Advisor

Patrick Galphin

nexAir

John Medwedweff

Artist, Medwedeff Forge and Design

Pat Mitchell Worley

Consultant

Richard Ranta

Retired

Janice Holder

Private Legal Solutions

Shannon Brown

FedEx

Sherri Jaudes

Artist

Sarah Perkins

Artist

Kevin Thompson

Memphis Museums

Ted Davis

Linda Foster

Retired

Desmond Lewis

Artist/Educator

Stacy Smith

Porsche Stevens

Consultant

Grace Stewart

American Alliance of Museums

Monica Wharton

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/28/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data