Chattanooga, TN (March 24, 2015) – The Hunter Museum collects, studies and presents compelling works of American art to connect people of every background to creativity, knowledge and ideas.  In keeping with that objective, the Hunter Museum is proud to announce the opening of a special exhibition of American art beginning April 10.  For a limited time, the museum will showcase the private collection of Alice E. and Joseph H. Davenport, Jr., a collection featuring 19 works by many well-known American artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Burchfield, Mary Cassatt, and William Merritt Chase.

Alice (Hedy) and Joseph (Joe) Davenport were passionate patrons of the arts in Chattanooga and founding supporters of the Hunter Museum.  “Our parents were infected by the ‘art bug’,” explained Hedy’s and Joe’s children.   “They began collecting art of great significance after getting involved in the Chattanooga Arts Association, the predecessor of the Hunter Museum, in the 1960s.  They believed having a thriving art museum in our community was extremely important for Chattanooga and they worked hard to build a strong, dynamic museum for the entire community to share.” 

Understanding the necessity of having widespread community support for the museum, Joe, a fundraiser extraordinaire, was able to convince others in the community of their responsibility to support the city’s museum. Joe and other community leaders, including Scotty Probasco and Ruth Holmberg, were part of the team that secured for the Hunter 33 American paintings having a value of over $1 million.  This major acquisition of art laid the foundation for the museum’s collection of works by American artists. 

Joe served as Chairman of the first Board of Trustees of the Hunter Museum and was instrumental in the Hunter’s decision to build its American contemporary art collection as well as the studio art glass collection.  Hedy was equally involved with the museum and for several years chaired Spectrum, the museum’s largest annual gala that raises considerable support for the Hunter.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share the impressive Davenport collection and excited to have the occasion on Thursday, April 9, to celebrate Joe’s and Hedy’s incredible legacy of support for the arts in general and the Hunter specifically,” said Interim Director of the Hunter, Virginia Anne Sharber.

An opening reception for the special temporary exhibition will be held at the Hunter Museum on Thursday, April 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at which time guests may view the entire Davenport Collection along with additional new temporary exhibitions, Gajin Fujita, Eudora Welty and the Segregated South, and New on View II.  The reception is open to the public (free for members / general admission fee for non-members), but reservations must be made in advance by calling 423.267.0968 by Tuesday, April 7.


About the Hunter Museum of American Art – Located at 10 Bluff View in Chattanooga, TN, the Hunter Museum is open every day (except Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day). For hours and admission rates, see  To learn more about membership and unlimited visits, upcoming exhibitions, and other happenings at the Hunter Museum, call (423) 267-0968, visit, or follow the Hunter Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.