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The Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange
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$10.00*
and up
Memphis Cotton Museum Admission and Audio Walking Tour
Ranked #38 of 152 things to do in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
154 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Just Okay”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2011

After reading the reviews on TripAdvisor, we were excited to visit the Cotton Exchange Museum. We were a little disappointed when, after paying the $10 entrance fee, we discovered it consisted of just one room.
There were a number of videos that visitors can watch as well as some displays. As a history teacher, I was disappointed to find several inaccurate portrayals of historical information.
The museum and building certainly provided an interesting glimpse into something that was such a big part of Memphis history, but after about 45 minutes, we had seen everything it had to offer. If you only have a short amount of time, this might be for you, but there are other museums in Memphis charging similar fees with much more extensive and compelling exhibits.
I love museums (big and small), but this one seemed a bit overpriced for what it provided.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank agdwsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
46 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“A sleeper of a site -- very interesting!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2011

We pride ourselves on seeing those gems that most people miss on a vacation. The Cotton Exchange Building and Museum is one of those. We walked by on a Sunday evening and thought it would provide a great start to our touring on Monday. We certainly didn't expect to spend 1-1/2 hours there while learning so much! It packs a lot into a small space. The exhibits require a lot of reading, so chances are younger kids will be bored. But interested teens and adults will learn about the long, storied past of growing, harvesting and selling cotton. Displays also address the social and economic inequalities and civil rights issues entwined with cotton, including some films made in the 1950s which furthered these inequities. If you want to know more, ask! The staffer there on the day we went, who I believe is part-time curator (?), is an expert. Plus, if you're a film buff, you can take your picture in front of the elevators where Tom Cruise waited in The Firm! All in all, a great stop -- we're so glad we made it!

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
179 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A Surprise - Very Informative”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2011

We spent about an hour and a half watching the videos and listening to the oral histories. The design of the museum is very user-friendly and we learned how important cotton has been for the industrial revolution and beyond. Very courteous staff as well.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank Cyrus C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mason, Ohio
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Gorgeous and fascinating”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2011

On the outside, you can hardly notice it, but once you go in the Cotton Exchange Building to the Cotton Museum, you can see a beautiful restored historic space that is PACKED with information. We spent nearly three hours!! It gave us so much insight into the cotton industry, something you really don't think about, and it was a great presentation of the American Southern culture.

Visited April 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank HazelShadowmoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
Level Contributor
73 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“When Cotton was King this was the place to be - A great history lesson”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2011

Cotton has had a major impact on world and US history and this museum puts together a pretty complete story in a great setting, "where cotton traders once stood at the center of the global cotton economy. Until recently, no one was allowed in here except members and their guests." Anyone with any interest in the economic and social history of the southern United States should make sure that they visit this museum. There are numerous interactive displays and we spent over 2 hours in this fascinating museum. We did not have children with us but some other families did and the kids seemed to find a lot of things to hold their interest. We learned a lot about cotton, how it was produced, processed and marketed.

Visited February 2011
Helpful?
Thank Entlebuch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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