This innovative small city museum focuses on 20th century American art with a giant commitment toward education, from school age children to any-age grown-up.
Established by artists and incorporated in 1948 as a community force for good, the Asheville Art Museum has annually presented roughly a dozen exhibitions in recent years, including curated shows from the Whitney Museum of American Art to collections from the Isamu Noguchi Museum and the Art Museum of Milwaukee. In addition to far-flung works from “somewhere else,” it’s easy enough to encounter an exhibit as touchingly close as a documentary of life in Madison County or the later work of celebrated alumni of legendary Black Mountain College.
The permanent collection of more than 2,000 objects includes works from nationally known artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, George Inness, Arshile Gorky, Romare Bearden, Ed Ruscha, Jasper Johns Alex Katz, William Wiley, and Red Grooms.
The museum’s permanent collection also explores regional contributions in three areas:
- Works by artists related to this region, including nationally recognized artistsKenneth Noland and Donald Sultan who were born in Asheville and other artists who visited, lived or are living and working locally.
- Works by leading modern artists who taught or studied at Black Mountain College, including Josef and Anni Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Ray Johnson, Joseph Fiore, and Robert Motherwell.
- Fine handmade objects created in the region, including crafts of the Cherokee, works from Pisgah Forest and other folk potteries, and contemporary studio craft as exemplified by Penland School of Crafts, including work by Mark Peiser, Harvey Littleton and Cynthia Bringle.
The museum presents 15-20 exhibitions each year.
The Asheville Art Museum also provides hundreds of educational programs every year for audiences of all ages, including K-12th grade and university student tours, summer and winter art camps, after school art programs, adult art classes, artist gallery talks, workshops, book signings, film screenings, symposiums, travel programs, concerts, and special events.
The Asheville Art Museum’s facility at 2 South Pack Square is under construction for a major renovation and expansion, but pop-up exhibits continue at the Asheville Art Museum on the South Slope, 176 Biltmore Ave., and other facilities. Open year-round Tue-Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A small entrance fee is charged for non-members. Check out www.ashevilleart.org for details.