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Museums and Art in the Kentucky Lakes Area

Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Museum

Washboard mussels produce freshwater pearls and are rarely found naturally from these living animals. However, they are grown at the only freshwater pearl-culturing farm operation in North America. The organic gem stone-culturing is located at Birdsong Creek, an embayment of Kentucky Lake in Camden, just nine miles north of Interstate 40.

The Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Museum, Farm, Tour and Jewelry Showroom is located at Birdsong Resort and Marina in the new Pearl Museum/Community Center. Call (731) 584-7880 to make appointment to visit the Pearl Museum. Visit their website at for more information.

Wrather West Kentucky Museum

Murray State University's first building, erected in 1924, received extensive renovations and was rededicated as the Wrather West Kentucky Museum in 1982.  The museum features several permanent and changing exhibits.  West Kentucky history abounds at the museum which highlights the social, economical, and cultural development of this area. 

Wrather West Kentucky Museum is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The facility is closed on Saturdays and Sundays and all university holidays. For more information, please call (270) 809-4771.  It is located on the campus of MSU on University Drive.

Paris-Henry County Heritage Center

The Paris-Henry County Heritage Center, which has been called "the crown jewel of Paris", was built in 1916 by philanthropist Col. O. C. Barton.  The beautiful mansion retains its original stained-glass windows, marble staircase and floors, ceiling and wall paintings, and mahogany woodwork.  The Paris-Henry County Heritage Center serves as a museum, an archive, and a research and educational center.

You can also partake in the Historical Walking Tour. T his tour is a historical audio-taped walking tour of west Tennessee's oldest incorporated city, Paris.  Entitled "Paris Revisited," this lively recorded tour will take you through downtown Paris, the North Poplar Street Historic District and the Old City Cemetery all of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  For more information, call (731) 642-1030.

Lyon County Museum

The Lyon County Museum is also a favorite for historical buffs.  The museum is located in Old Eddyville and features all sorts of exhibits, murals, maps, a replica iron furnace, and so much more.  The Lyon County Museum is open on a seasonal basis.  For more information, contact the Lyon County Tourist Commission at (270) 388-5300.

Murray Art Guild

The Murray Art Guild features art sales and shows, schedules classes, conducts workshops, and has painting classes.  Located at 500 North 4th Street in Murray, The Murray Art Guild is the place for artists in Calloway County.  The Guild is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  For more information, contact The Murray Art Guild at (270) 753-4059. 

Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery

This art gallery is located on the sixth floor of the Price Doyle Fine Arts Center at 15th & Olive streets on the campus of MSU.  The Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery features changing contemporary art exhibitions and student art shows.

Curris Center Gallery

The Curris Center, the student center for Murray State University, features its own art gallery on the first floor.  Admission is free and groups are welcome with prior notice.  For more information on exhibitions and hours of operation, call (270) 809-3052.