The Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange, Memphis

3.5
#7 of 16 in Historic Sites in Memphis
The Cotton Museum, located in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., is an historical and cultural museum that opened in March 2006 on the former trading floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange at 65 Union Avenue in downtown Memphis.The mission of the Cotton Museum is to share the story of the cotton industry and its many influences on the daily life, arts, and the development of the mid-South region. The museum highlights artifacts through interpretive exhibits, educational programs, and research archives that help tell the story of cotton and cotton trading, from crop to becoming fabric.The Cotton Museum preserves the history of the cotton business and its impact on economics, history, society and culture, and science and technology. The museum's exhibits are appropriate for field trips for middle schoolers and older, and provide visitors context for other attractions in the city.
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The Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange Reviews
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196 reviews
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3.6
TripAdvisor
  • September 26, 2017
    Not only is the museum boring, but the attendant at the front desk was sour and dismissive. Upon entering, we showed him the Groupon voucher we had purchased. The attendant made sure to tell us, with ...  more »
  • September 26, 2017
    We visited here last week. Price was average for all the other places we went at $10 per person. It was interesting and well done history of cotton but no audio tour is available. Lots of artifacts, s...  more »
  • September 22, 2017
    Being from Lake Wobegon, I know nothing about cotton. This was a wonderful museum that not only explained about cotton but everything that cotton meant to the region. I learned a lot. It was a nice ai...  more »
Google
  • June 25, 2017
    We spent a week in Memphis, and this was by far the worst attraction we visited. There is "nothing" to the museum, for which the tour is terribly overpriced @ $10. There are only 2 small rooms. The first initially looks appealing with a mannequin up on a ladder, posting cotton future prices in a "back in the day" setting. However, that is IT. The video which starts the presentation is uninformative and annoying as it is visually very difficult to look at, being simply pictures of pictures, which change rapidly. All it tells is that the Cotton Exchange was a clandestine group of wealthy old men, who made and lost fortunes speculating on the price of cotton, in a setting which was akin to a private social club, (i.e. simply an elite socially acceptable form of "gambling"). However, what is totally missing is any explanation of how cotton gets from the farmer to the users of the cotton (e.g. apparel manufacturers). How and where, and for what price did the farmer sell his cotton? You won't have any more of a clue about that after watching the video, and walking the two rooms, than before you came in. Furthermore some of the displays, already small, are simply musical items which are irrelevant, and pale in comparison to the many excellent Memphis museums dedicated exclusively to the history of blues and rock & roll music. Yes, there is a part of the tour which involves walking around downtown to several other locations, but that is not what you want, or envision, as part of a museum tour when you enter. Visiting this museum was a complete "bust". I will say that the people were "nice", but their museum needs to completely redesigned. As is, it is terribly inadequate, uninformative, and not worth the price of the tour.
  • December 28, 2016
    Very neat bit of history about Memphis. I work for a large textile company and can attest to the accuracy of the information presented. It doesn't take long to walk through this museum, but you will come away with a lot of knowledge about cotton and the cotton exchange.
  • January 5, 2017
    Great museum. Highly recommended from me. It's very educational and very well put together.
  • April 12, 2017
    An interesting, brief docent led tour, and a number of very informative videos.
  • October 5, 2016
    Interesting and with a lot of video material. Not very systematic in presentation. Lot of stuff is also repeated again and again. But the best source about the cotton industry we could find.

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