Discover The Crop That Changed The World

About Us

When you visit the Cotton Museum, you're treading on the legendary floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange where cotton traders once stood at the center of the global cotton economy. Once, only the elite members of the Cotton Exchange were allowed to enter. Today, this historic space is open to the public and is devoted to sharing the story of cotton.

Our Mission

The museum was founded in 2006 to preserve the history of this worldwide market place and to tell the epic story of the famed cash crop and its profound influence on the city of Memphis. Our mission is to share the story of the cotton and the influences of the people that were gathered here around the industry not only with a growing international audience, but with Memphis area residents- especially our city’s youth.


The Cotton Museum has had to make the difficult decision to temporarily close our doors due to COVID-19. We look forward to greeting visitors once again in a healthier and more prosperous 2021. 



Museum Partners

The Cotton Museum’s diverse programs offer a variety of opportunities for your organization to form a valuable partnership with the museum. Museum Partner packages are available for corporate support of special events, educational outreach, exhibitions, and art programming. Many thanks to our generous supporters!

About The Venue

Built in 1922, the Trading Floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange features 3,200 square feet of ornate 1920’s architectural detail, 30-foot ceilings, and beautiful arched windows. The trading floor has enjoyed a full restoration and this once private club is now open for your guests to enjoy. We are an ideal venue for rehearsal dinners, corporate events, and special parties.

Rent the Venue!

Contact us today at (901) 531-7826 or email Our event specialist will be with you in a jiffy!

Welcome Educators!

The Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange offers great learning experiences for all ages.

One-hour field-trips incorporating Tennessee state academic standards are available at a discounted student rate and are typically scheduled during weekday business hours.

Special rates are available for student groups. To arrange a class visit, please contact the museum at (901) 531-7826, email, or complete the contact form below.

Upcoming Events

Monday, July 27, 2020, the Cotton Museum will host a teacher inservice sponsored by TN History for Kids. This event will focus on World War II in Tennessee, the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee, and the influence of cotton on the culture of West Tennessee. The guest presenter will be Daphene McFerren of the Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change.

The presentation will be standards-based, and mainly intended for public school social studies teachers. Bill Carey of Tennessee History for Kids will be featured also.

Come visit us at the 68th Annual Mid-South Farm and Gin Show. On Friday and Saturday, February 28th and 29th, we will be in Booth #4031 in the Sheraton Hotel at the Cook Convention Center. Stop by and chat about all things cotton to receive your 2-for-1 admission pass to the Cotton Museum. See you there!

The Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange is where it all began on the corner of Union Avenue and Front Street, formerly known as Cotton Row, in downtown Memphis. How did Memphis become Memphis? What is cotton good for? Who/what is/was King Cotton? Bring your students and discover all of these answers and more. Cotton's indelible past and innovative future continue to shape our world. 

We will be closed for Christmas from 2PM on December 24th until 1PM on December 26th.

We will be closed for New Year's from 2PM on December 31st until 10AM on January 2nd.

The Cotton Museum is hosting the MWTC Christmas Party on December 12th from 6P-9P. There will be live music from Memphis Dueling Pianos. Tickets are available online at! See you there!

Go, St. Jude, Go! Come see us after the race. We will be opening at 12 Noon on Saturday, December 6, 2019.

Get ready to party the night away with the Cotton Museum. Our 13th Annual Harvest Party will be November 9th beginning at 7PM at a new location in the Atrium of Visible Music College, 200 Madison Avenue in Downtown Memphis. Tickets are available here. We are looking forward to plenty of good friends, good food, good drink and lots of great music. 

(Parking is available directly across the street in the Toyota Parking Garage. Mention you are our guest and park for only $5.) 

On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, the Cotton Museum will be closing early for a private party for the Better Cotton Initiative. Please visit us before 1PM or plan your visit for when we reopen at our regular time on Thursday morning at 10AM.

The Cotton Museum will be closed all day on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. The Cotton Council International has reserved the Cotton Museum for a special event. Please make plans to visit the museum when we reopen on Wednesday, October 2nd at 10AM.

Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Hatcher welcomes international agricultural ambassadors to Memphis with an early morning brunch at the Cotton Museum on September 16, 2019.


Membership is your ticket to educational exhibitions, fun family programs, and the best parties in downtown Memphis. But beyond the personal benefits you enjoy as a member, your support helps The Cotton Museum present new, high quality programs and exhibits for people of all ages and interests. Membership benefits are effective the moment of your purchase and continue for one year from the purchase date.


A parking garage called Parking Can be Fun is conveniently located on Union Avenue, two doors down from the Museum.