North Carolina’s coast and mountains offer majestic art displays year round, but I had no idea that North Carolina had a rich visual art culture as well. Throughout the state, art museums present local art displays and preserve historical pieces. Add an art museum visit to your summer fun to learn more about culture and history and to explore the world’s treasures.
North Carolina Art Musuems
Ackland Art Museum
101 S. Columbia St.
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Ackland Art Museum, located at UNC Chapel Hill, acquires pieces “chosen for their quality and their ability to convey the breadth of human achievement in the visual arts.” The 17,000 piece collection includes works from Japan, China, Africa, Southern and Western Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Hours: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Admission is free.
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St.
Charlotte NC 28202
This museum is dedicated to displays of mid-20th century modern art, with works by Warhol, Picasso, Miro, Calder and others. This collection, formerly held privately by the Bechtler family of Switzerland, is now displayed in Charlotte for the enjoyment of all. The collection emphasizes modern pieces that with a European perspective, emphasizing post World War II approaches to art. The display also includes select American and British pieces.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and major holiday
Admission: $4-$8, ages 10 and younger are free.
413 S. Main St.
Kernersville NC 27284
While not a traditional art museum, Korner’s Folly, known as “The Strangest House in the World,” was completed in 1880. It features 22 rooms with ceiling heights ranging from 5.5 feet to 25 feet, seven levels, 15 fireplaces, staircases, passageways, art and a theater. Jule Korner built his family home to feature his interior design work for future clients. Today, the home preserves opulent Victorian details and art. It also houses a puppet theater.
Hours: Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m. Last admission is one hour before closing.
Admission: $6-$10; ages 5 and younger are free.
Mint Museum Randolph and Uptown
2730 Randolph Rd.
Charlotte NC 28207
The Mint Museum, focusing on fine art, decorative art and fashion, includes collections of art of the Ancient Americas, Modern American Art, Native American Art, Ceramics, Decorative Arts, and Historic Costumes and Fashionable Dress. The Craft and Design collection includes pieces that reflect artistic and design excellence in the areas of glass, fiber art, metal, studio jewelry, design, studio furniture, wood art, and clay. This collections focus on the Americas preserves our history and celebrates where we are today.
Hours: Tuesday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (free 5-9 p.m.); Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m.; closed Monday and major holidays.
Admission: $5-$10; ages 4 and younger are free.
Nasher Museum of Art
2001 Campus Dr
Durham NC 27705
Nasher Museum of Art, located at Duke University, includes ancient and contemporary art from around the world. Temporary exhibits feature contemporary art in a variety of forms. For more information read this post about our visit to the Nasher Museum of Art.
Hours : Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m. Closed New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Admission: $5 adults, free for ages 15 and younger. Free to all on Thursday 5-9 p.m.
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh NC 27607
North Carolina Museum of Art collections range from classical to contemporary across the world. The art museum grounds also host a number of extraordinary exhibits across 164 acres. Year-round, the museum offers family activities, classic films, lectures and workshops, as well as special exhibits. Outdoors, the art museum hosts concerts and films in the amphitheater.
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Admission: Free, though special exhibitions and some programs require a fee.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art
2250 Reynolda Road
Winston-Salem NC 27106
Reynolda House, part of the Wake Forest University system, is set in a 1917 mansion once owned by the Reynolds family. The museum houses American masterpieces by artists such as Cassatt, Copley, Eakins and O’Keeffe. Visit the museum to explore centuries of American art in one place.
Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m. No admittance after 4 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Admission: $9-$10; free for ages 18 and under and those affiliated with Wake Forest University.
North Carolina Art Experiences
Besides museums, cities and towns across the state offer pottery and art classes. Two that stand out are ArtQuest at the Green Hill Center for NC Art in Greensboro and the Cary Arts Center, part of the City of Cary’s Parks and Recreation program. At both ArtQuest and the Cary Arts Center, visitors can explore art exhibits and participate in hands on art classes. The Green Hill Center features five major art exhibitions each year to promote the work of North Carolina artists from beginner to advanced. The Cary Arts Center welcomes artists by online application and exhibits their pieces at venues across the city.
Visit an art museum or create art. Either way, enjoy the beauty that North Carolina offers in art museums across the state.