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William Russell Briscoe

June 3-August 31, 2003


Experience the vivid history of Knoxville this summer at the Knoxville Museum of Art. From June 13 to August 31, 2003, the paintings of local artist W. Russell Briscoe will be on display. The exhibition features not only the poignant moments that Briscoe captured, such as the Gay Street Fire, the Siege of Knoxville and the Battle of Fort Sanders, but also the spirit and traditions of East Tennessee that Briscoe grew up with in turn-of-the-century Knoxville. (right: William Russell Briscoe, The Great Gay Street Fire April 8, 1897, 1963, oil on canvas)

Briscoe, a local businessman and self-taught artist, painstakingly researched the subjects in his paintings, to ensure historical accuracy. Growing up in the bustling Fort Sanders neighborhood during the early 20th century, Briscoe thrived on anecdotes from East Tennessee's past. Described as a dreamer, Briscoe used his penchant for drawing during the Depression to make toys for sale. Inspired by this creative venue, Briscoe bought a set of basic oil paints and began his pursuit of painting local history.


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