Located on Heritage Green in downtown Greenville, the Greenville County Museum of Art (GCMA) collects and exhibits American art. In 1963 the South Carolina General Assembly established the Greenville County Museum Commission. Ownership of the former Gassaway Mansion, property of the Greenville Art Association since 1958, was transferred to the new museum. In 1974 GCMA moved into its modernist building, designed by Craig, Gaulden & Davis, accommodating almost ninety thousand square feet for spacious exhibition galleries, a museum shop, art storage, a 190-seat auditorium, and classrooms for studio instruction.
Operational funding is derived in part from Greenville County tax millage, and a seven-member museum commission provides oversight. The Museum Association, Inc., with its board of twenty-five individuals, raises funds from the private sector through memberships, an annual antiques show, and other solicitations.
The museum is nationally known for three collection strengths: the Southern Collection, a survey of American art using southern-related examples; Andrew Wyeth: The Greenville Collection; and a collection of contemporary art unrivaled in the state. The museum boasts individual works by such twentieth-century masters as George Bellows, Georgia O’Keeffe, Josef Albers, and Philip Guston. The collection includes forty works by Jasper Johns, sixty-eight by Stephen Scott Young, and twenty-six by Andrew Wyeth. A strong and varied exhibition program complements the museum’s collection. In 1973 the American Association of Museums accredited GCMA and renewed accreditation in 1986 and 1998.
Hysinger, Paula Casteel. “History of the Greenville County Museum of Art.” In Greenville County Museum of Art: The Southern Collection. Greenville, S.C.: Greenville County Museum of Art, 1995.