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Special Exhibit – Things Come Apart


Things Come Apart a Smithsonian traveling exhibit (July 15, 2017–October 8, 2017). Through extraordinary photographs, disassembled objects and fascinating videos, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service’s Things Come Apart exhibit reveals the inner workings of common, everyday possessions. Images of dozens of objects explore how things are designed and made and how technology has evolved over time. For example, the individual components of a record player, a Walkman, and iPod illustrate the technical changes in sound reproduction over the years. As a visual investigation of design and engineering, Things Come Apart also celebrates classic examples of industrial design like the sewing machine, the mechanical pencil, and the telescope. Additionally, the exhibit explores ideas about reuse, repair, and recycling.

Things Come Apart embraces key STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts and provides an ideal environment for hands-on experimentation, tinkering, and creative makerspaces. Through support from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, the exhibition includes three hands-on Activity Kits created by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation’s SparkLab.

Things Come Apart is an exhibition organized by Todd McLellan and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

We would like to extend a special thank you to our local partners, the Eastman Foundation and Strongwell.


Throughout the exhibit, we will be hosting a variety of fun and educational programming. Details for many of the events can be found by clicking on their name; other details will be forthcoming soon:

Kingsport Mini Maker Faire, Kingsport Civic Auditorium — Saturday, July 22, 9am–1pm

Film screening of American Experience: Edison, Birthplace of Country Music Museum — Thursday, July 27, 6pm

Family Fun Day, Birthplace of Country Music Museum — Saturday, August 26, 11am–3pm

Film screening of Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, Birthplace of Country Music Museum — Thursday, August 31, 6pm

Songs Come Apart workshop, Birthplace of Country Music Museum — Saturday, September 9, 10am–2pm

Museum Day Live! and screening of American Experience: Tesla, Birthplace of Country Music Museum — Saturday, September 23, all day with screening at 1pm


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MUSEUM: 101 Country Music Way
Bristol, VA 24201
(423) 573-1927

BUSINESS OFFICE: 416 State Street, Suite A
Bristol, TN 37620
(423) 573-1927