Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Memphis Pink Palace

 "Memphis Pink Palace," 24x36 Oil on Canvas by Tommy Thompson

After visiting the Pink Palace in Memphis, I painted a 24x36 inch oil of this historic landmark; the original is now available for sale via my web site. Headquarters for the Pink Palace Family of Museums, the Pink Palace was originally designed to be the dream home of wealthy entrepreneur Clarence Saunders. The Museum derives its name from the Mansion's ornate pink Georgian marble facade.

Saunders, an entrepreneur and founder of the grocery chain, Piggly Wiggly, began building the house in the early 1920s, but due to a legal dispute with the New York Exchange, he had to declare bankruptcy, and the unfinished building was eventually given to the city of Memphis, TN, in the late 1920s for use as a museum.

Memphis Pink Palace Museum

The "new" addition and main Museum building is called the Pink Palace Museum. It houses the Bodine Exhibit Hall, exhibiting a variety of special temporary exhibits each year, and permanent exhibits, which include natural science on the first floor and cultural history on the second floor. Notable among the Museum collections are the mechanized Clyde Parke Circus, created during the Great Depression by Memphian Clyde Park, and the first self-service grocery called "Piggly Wiggly," developed by Pink Palace Mansion builder/owner, Clarence Saunders, next to the Clyde Park Circus. First-floor natural science exhibits include geology, fossil and animal exhibits.

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