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Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 8th Ave. N.
Birmingham, Alabama 32503
Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art has one of the finest collections in the Southeast. More than 24,000 objects represent a rich panorama of cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of Asian art, considered the finest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, and its collection of Vietnamese ceramics, one of the finest in the world; a remarkable Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s; the collection of 18th century European decorative arts, which includes superior examples of English ceramics and French furniture; and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.
The Museum connects with the community through programs and exhibitions that engage, entertain, and enlighten visitors. Programs are designed around the Museum’s permanent collection and changing exhibitions, and provide opportunities for all ages and levels of experience to connect with art.
The Birmingham Museum of Art is located in the heart of the City’s cultural district. Erected in 1959, the present building was designed by architects Warren, Knight & Davis of Birmingham, with a major renovation and expansion by Edward Larrabee Barnes of New York completed in 1993. The facility encompasses 180,000 square feet, including a splendid outdoor sculpture garden.
The generosity of the City of Birmingham and other private and municipal funders has allowed the Museum to remain free of charge to visitors since its opening.
Carnegie Visual Arts Center
207 Church Street
NE, Decatur, Alabama 35601
Completed in September of 1904, the Carnegie Library of Decatur was one of the 2,509 libraries built by the millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. At the turn of the century, Carnegie began donating money to non-profit, educational organizations. Starting with a large library system in Pittsburgh, with a donation of $1 million, Carnegie began to fund libraries throughout the nation.
Decatur’s Carnegie Library is an example of one of the classic Carnegie buildings. Originally about 3,500 square feet and costing $8,500, the building served as Decatur’s library from 1904 till 1973.
The Carnegie Library was constructed in 1904 with funding from the Carnegie Foundation. For nearly 70 years, Decatur’s public library was housed in this facility. When the main library outgrew the facility the Carnegie became the children’s library.
The next incarnation of the Carnegie Library came when First Baptist Church began using the building as a youth center for its congregation. This arrangement continued for 20 years until the completed expansion of the church.
In 1997 the Decatur Arts Council leased the Carnegie Library from the City of Decatur and began a feasibility study to determine if the building would be suitable for an arts center. The feasibility study, conducted by Sherlock, Smith and Adams, LLC and completed in 1998, determined the building to be suitable for such a purpose. The same study pointed out the structural strengths and deficiencies of the building. From this document a master plan for renovation was completed.
Within the next year, 1999, the Decatur Arts Council had begun to share with the community the dream for a renovated Carnegie Library that would serve as an art museum and education facility. Further studies completed in 2000 indicated strong support in the community for such a project. Daikin America gave the first gifts to the Capital Campaign for the new Carnegie Visual Arts Center. Funding for the Carnegie Visual Arts Center was made possible by the generosity of individuals, local businesses, corporations, the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the City of Decatur.
Construction and restoration was completed in early 2003. The Carnegie Visual Arts Center opened on April 11, 2003 and serves Decatur and the surrounding area. Festivities included the official ribbon cutting, an appreciation luncheon for dignitaries and principals in the Carnegie project and a gala celebration that evening. Guests included investors in the Carnegie as well as local artists who generously loaned their work for the opening exhibit. Local and touring exhibits featuring all mediums of visual art will adorn the Carnegie throughout the year. Additionally, art classes, workshops, lectures and camps will be offered for all ages in the Daikin America Education Center. The Carnegie Visual Arts Center may be rented for meetings and receptions. The opening exhibit, Embracing Art, a coming together of area professional and amateur artists, featured over 90 local artists from the Tennessee Valley. The next installation is an exhibit of sculpture by Glenn Dasher. Mr. Dasher’s show opened May 29, 2003 and runs through June 29, 2003. The third exhibit at the Carnegie will feature a primitive and outsider art show and sale. The sale began on July 1, 2003.
Huntsville Museum of Art
300 Church St. So.
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
The Huntsville Museum of Art, North Alabama’s leading visual arts center, moved to its beautiful facility in Big Spring International Park in March 1998.
The nationally-accredited Museum fills its seven galleries with a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, including prestigious traveling exhibits and the work of nationally and regionally acclaimed artists. The Museum’s own 2,522-piece permanent collection also forms the basis for several exhibitions each year.
In addition, the Museum offers reception areas on the gallery level and in the Great Hall for weddings, meetings and other events. Visitors can also shop for local art in SPACE 300, Art for Today's Collector.
Named as one of the state’s “Top 10” destinations by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, the Huntsville Museum of Art is gaining a reputation throughout the South for bringing high-caliber touring exhibitions to the region. Nearly 40,000 people visited the Museum during A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum. Another 23,000 visited the blockbuster exhibition Land of the Winged Horsemen: Art in Poland.
In addition to its exhibitions, the Museum offers art classes for children and adults along with special programs, lectures, and musical presentations that add extra dimensions to the art work on display.
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn
901 South College St.
Auburn, Alabama 36830
Open to the public: October 3, 2003
Location: Auburn University, Alabama
Architects: Gresham, Smith and Partners of Birmingham, Alabama
Landscape Architects: Nimrod Long and Associates of Birmingham, Alabama
A 40,000 square-foot modern building with a travertine stone exterior.
The main level incorporates a lobby, office suite, seven exhibition galleries, a museum shop, a café, an auditorium, and a terrace overlooking the lake. The lower level accommodates a vault system, a carpentry shop and staff and security offices.
Approximately 15 acres of botanical gardens featuring large-scale sculpture, a three-acre lake, and a landscape that incorporates walking paths, benches and water features.
More than 650 members at various levels.
Mobile Museum of Art, 4850 Museum Drive
Mobile, Alabama 36608
Recently expanded in 2002, the Mobile Museum of Art in beautiful Langan Park is the largest art museum along the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Tampa. The 95,000 square foot facility is the setting for a permanent collection of over 8,000 works of art spanning two centuries of culture, as well as world renowned traveling exhibitions and regional art exhibits.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
1 Museum Dr.
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, a department of the City of Montgomery, is supported by funds from the City and County of Montgomery and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association. Programs are made possible, in part, by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Wiregrass Museum of Art
126 Museum Dr.
Dothan, Alabama 36303
The mission of the Wiregrass Museum of Art is to increase awareness, education and appreciation of the visual and decorative fine arts by providing quality exhibitions and interpretive programs in Southeast Alabama; and by collecting and holding in trust important and significant works of art that reflect our cultural heritage and give inspiration and expression to the human spirit and experience.