Exhibits & Artifacts

Our exhibitions illustrate mountain societies and the natural world, past and present. Temporary exhibits have been produced around such themes as blacksmithing, Cherokee myths and legends, and southern Appalachian handicrafts. Traveling exhibits look at North Carolina's State Dog, explorer William Bartram, the tradition of Decoration Day and more.

Gallery Exhibits

The Mountain Heritage Center gallery is regularly open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Thursday evenings until 7 p.m. For more information, call the museum at 828-227-7129. The gallery at located at Hunter Library 161.  

Cecil Sharp in Appalachia

Woman Rowing from Cecil Sharp exhibit


June 5 - August 4, 2017: Hunter Library Second Floor, M – F 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Exhibit highlighting the people Cecil Sharp and his assistant Maude Karpels met and interviewed. Sharp and Karpels came from England to United States in the early 20th Century to collect old songs and dances. They traveled across rural parts of Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina meeting people and collecting ballads, some of which hadn't been heard back in the British Isles for many years.


Kephart: Revealing an Enigma

Outdoor Author Kephart's boots on exhibit

January 17 - September 1, 2017: Mountain Heritage Center gallery 

Horace Kephart, early champion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, was a 20th-century scholar and outdoor enthusiast. In addition to writing many articles for national publications, Kephart also authored "Our Southern Highlanders” and “Camping and Woodcraft.” This exhibits displays hundreds of items from Kephart's personal collection, including his tent, writing desk, and more.


H. F. Robinson Building first floor

Western Carolina University: The Progress of an Idea

Traces Robert Lee Madison's "Cullowhee Idea" from 1889 to the present. Highlights WCU's continuing mission of regional service.

Pisgah Forest Pottery, Walter B. Stephen

2 lobby cases that highlight the development this Craft Pottery that operated for many years just south of Asheville.

Quilting in Southern Appalachia

4 lobby cases showcase different quilting techniques including hand stitching and early sewing machine work.

Online Exhibits 


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