Georgia Museum of Art


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Museums, Est. 1945

Located on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, the Georgia Museum of Art is charged with the collection, preservation, and exhibition of objects valuable to art, history, and science.

It operates with the prime mission to support and promote teaching, research, and service in the field of the visual arts. It acts both as an academic museum as well as the official art museum of the state of Georgia.

Though founded in 1945, the Georgia Museum of Art opened its doors to the public only in 1948 in the basement of an old library on the university's historic north campus.

From its humble opening, the museum has grown consistently over the years both in the size of its collection and facilities. The museum was named the State Museum of Art in 1982, by the Georgia General Assembly.

At present, the museum occupies a contemporary building in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the university's burgeoning east campus.

This 52,000-square-foot house showcases more than 8,000 objects in the museum's permanent collection including 100 paintings donated by the museum's founder, Alfred Heber Holbrook.

The permanent collection consists of American, European, and Asian works on paper, Old Master prints, Parisian prints of the 1890s and American prints and drawings of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Samuel H. Kress Study Collection of Italian Renaissance paintings and growing collections of southern decorative arts and Asian art.

Exhibitions from international museums such as the National Gallery of Scotland, the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, the Rembrandt House, and the San Carlos National Museum in Mexico City, are also displayed in the galleries of the museum over the past decades.

The museum also offers traveling exhibitions from its permanent collection to other museums and art institutes around Georgia and the Southeast.

The museum’s reference library - featuring more than 5,000 volumes of scholarly works, exhibition catalogues, historical books and art appreciation books - is located on the third floor.

The education department organizes lectures, symposia, film series and workshops throughout the year. The GMOA arranges museum tours upon reservation, and offers rental facility for wedding reception, private party, meeting or office function.

The Museum shop has a unique selection of art-related gifts, art publications, note cards, hand-crafted jewelry and creative items for children for sale.

Exhibitions at the museum have won 15 awards since 1992 from the Southeastern Museums Conference and the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries.

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