“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Knoxville in Knox County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Krutch Park

Charles E. Krutch


—1887-1981 —

Krutch Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 30, 2018
1. Krutch Park Marker
Inscription. Krutch Park is the legacy of Charles Krutch, the last survivor of an eccentric and talented family. When they first arrived in Knoxville in the 1850's the proud German clan spelled their name Krütsch (the name is pronounced Krootch). Several of the Knoxville-raised Krutches were prominent in the arts. Oskar Krutch became a classical pianist. His sister, Lou Krutch, was a music teacher and idiosyncratic pants-wearing feminist who shocked some by taking long solo hiking trips in the Smoky Mountains which were then wild, remote, and little known to Knoxvillians. Her brother, Charles Christopher Krutch, also a hiker and camper, was a church organist but better known as an accomplished painter of the Impressionist school; many of his canvases were landscapes of the Smokies.

Their nephews Charlie and Joe grew up on Cumberland Avenue. After graduating from UT, Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1969) went on to become the best known of the Krutches, as a critic, biographer, iconoclastic philosopher, and groundbreaking naturalist, author of several highly regarded books (The Modern Temper, The Measure of Man), and hundreds of essays in major publications like The Nation.

His often sickly brother, Charles E. Krutch (1887-1981), stayed in Knoxville with his mot[her?] and seemed destined for a modest life—until in middle age he
Krutch Park and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, May 30, 2018
2. Krutch Park and Marker
developed a fascination with the camera. Through a combination of luck and talent that seemed inborn, Charlie Krutch became the photographer who documented the early engineering achievements of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Many admired his black-and-white compositions of generators and spillways as art. Hailed as “extraordinary” in photographic journals, some of his prints were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

When he died at an advanced age in 1981, few knew that humble, thrifty old Charlie Krutch was a wealthy man, or that he had left a major bequest to the city of Knoxville: to establish a “quiety retreat…for the pleasure and health of the public.”

Outer ring: We need some contact with the things we sprang from. We need nature at least as a part of the contextxt of our lives. Without cities we cannot be civilized. Without nature, without wilderness even, we are compelled to renounce an important part of our heritage.
Location. 35° 57.881′ N, 83° 55.147′ W. Marker is in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Knox County. Marker is at the intersection of Union Avenue and Market Street, on the right when traveling east on Union Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 504 Market Street, Knoxville TN 37902, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Market House Bell (here, next to this marker); Knoxville's Market House (here, next to this marker); Knoxville's Old Custom House / Fiddlin' Bob Taylor (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gay Street (about 300 feet away); Tennessee Ernie Ford (about 400 feet away); Elvis Presley (about 500 feet away); The Everly Brothers (about 600 feet away); St. James Hotel (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Knoxville.
Also see . . .  The Artist With a Camera. When TVA set out to transform life in the Valley, Charles Krutch set out to capture the process on film. The result was high art. (Submitted on June 8, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicParks & Recreational Areas
Credits. This page was last revised on June 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 89 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 8, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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