The beginnings of the Museum go back to a small museum opened on Nashville’s public square in 1817 by an individual artist. In 1937, the General Assembly authorized an official state facility to house WWI mementos and other State treasures. It moved to its present location at TPAC in 1981 and covers 120,000 sq. ft., 60,000 of which is devoted to exhibits. When not on display, those items in the permanent collection are stored on the lower floors. This life-sized mannequin is Spearfinger, exemplifying a German tradition of placing a menacing-looking figure at the edge of dangerous woods to keep children from exploring to their potential harm.