Greenville County Museum of Art
Greenville County Museum of Art. Considered the premier American art museum in the South, the GCMA is home to the world’s largest public collection of watercolors by iconic American artist Andrew Wyeth. The GCMA also has an impressive collection of paintings and prints by contemporary artist Jasper Johns. Ranging from Federal portraits to contemporary abstractions, the GCMA’s acclaimed Southern Collection invites viewers to survey American art history through works with ties to the South.
Organized visual art activity in Greenville did not begin in earnest until 1935 when three area artists and collectors met to form the Greenville Fine Arts League. The art association acquired its first permanent home with the purchase of the Gassaway Mansion in 1958. Five years later the South Carolina General Assembly established the Greenville County Museum Commission as the governing body of the Greenville County Museum of Art. By virtue of a tax millage, GCMA operations are supported by Greenville County, while program support comes from private sources. The GCMA is the only museum in the Upstate to accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Recognizing the need for a modern and secure building to properly store, exhibit, and safeguard artwork, the GCMA formed a public-private partnership that raised funds for a new facility, which opened in March 1974. Sited on downtown’s Heritage Green, this facility provides almost 70,000 square feet of exhibition, storage, and classroom space. In 1985, the Museum refined its collections policy to focus on creating a comprehensive survey of American art using southern related examples. In 1995 the GCMA published a book, The Southern Collection, which includes 126 essays about 146 different works in the collection. In addition to this core strength, the GCMA owns the world’s largest public collection of watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and a significant collection of contemporary art, including an impressive collection of works by South Carolina artist Jasper Johns. The American Alliance of Museums awarded accreditation to the Museum first in 1973 and subsequently renewed accreditation in 1986, 1998, and 2009.
What To Expect
Welcome to the Greenville County Museum of Art. Considered the premier American art museum in the South, the GCMA is home to the world’s largest public collection of watercolors by iconic American artist Andrew Wyeth. The GCMA also has an impressive collection of paintings and prints by contemporary artist Jasper Johns. Ranging from Federal portraits to contemporary abstractions, the GCMA’s acclaimed Southern Collection invites viewers to survey American art history through works with ties to the South.
ADMISSION IS FREE.
|Sunday||1 pm–5 pm|
|Wednesday – Saturday||10 am–5 pm|
Museum is closed right now.
Guided tours are free to groups of ten or more, but must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance. For information or to schedule a group tour, email or call 864.271.7570, ext. 1017.
Planning to bring a group of 10 or more to the GCMA?
Even if you don’t want a formal tour, we want to make sure we can accommodate your group and ensure a great experience for all our visitors. Please let us know at least three weeks before your requested date.
Docent-led tours for groups of 10 or more can be arranged on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Tours typically last an hour and are free-of-charge. To arrange a tour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 864.271.7570 x1017.
Guests with mobility disabilities should use the parking lot entrance to the GCMA. A limited number of wheelchairs and walking canes are available for guests to use during their visit.
Guests with visual impairment may request a tour by contacting email@example.com or calling 864.546.4047 several business days before their planned visit. This service is free, but an advance reservation is required. Service animals are welcome.
To ensure a pleasant and safe experience for all visitors and to safeguard the GCMA collection and traveling exhibitions, we ask that you observe the following guidelines.
- Pack light. All large bags, umbrellas, oversized walking sticks/canes, and backpacks must be left at the entrance.The GCMA cannot be responsible for lost or stolen articles. Laser pointers and flashlights, may not be used in the galleries. A limited number of wheelchairs and walking canes are available for guests to use during their visit, and strollers and walkers are permitted.
- Take your time and look as long as you like, but please don’t touch. Our hands contain acids, oils, and dirt that can physically damage a work of art, so please stay a safe distance (about 2 feet) from all works of art. Stay with your children, and please take young children by the hand. Running and rough play are not permitted. Climbing or sitting on pedestals or platforms is not permitted.
- Snap a photo and capture the moment, but keep in mind that flash photography, selfie sticks, tripods, and drones are not permitted in the museum.
- Help everyone enjoy a pleasant experience. Silence your cell phone in the GCMA. Visitors should keep their voices low. Appropriate clothing, including footwear, is required. Only service dogs are permitted; dogs must be leashed at all times.
- Eat up. Plan a picnic on Heritage Green, or enjoy one of downtown Greenville’s many delicious restaurants, but keep in mind that food and beverages, including water bottles, are not permitted in GCMA galleries. Likewise, smoking, including e-cigarettes and vaping, are not permitted in the GCMA.
- Find your inner artist. Sketching (pencil only) is permitted in the galleries. If you wish to sketch, please ask a security guard for a sketching bench. For safety, sitting on the floor is not permitted.
- Listen up. Please follow the instructions of Security Staff in the galleries. The GCMA reserves the right to dismiss any group for misconduct.
- Smile. Photographers often attend events and tours at the GCMA to capture images for publicity about museum programs and for museum archives. If you’d rather not have your picture taken, please let the photographer know.
FROM CHARLOTTE OR COLUMBIA
Take Interstate 385 North and continue onto East North Street into downtown Greenville. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Academy Street. Turn right on College Street. The GCMA will be on the right. To park, turn right at the 2nd traffic light onto Heritage Green Place. Parking is behind the GCMA.
From I-26 East, take exit 54 and merge onto US 25 toward US 176 NC/225 Greenville. Take a slight left onto SC 276/Poinsett Highway. Follow SC 276 and turn left onto West Stone Avenue. Turn right onto Main Street. Take the second right onto North Academy Street. Turn right on College Street. The GCMA will be on the right. To park, turn right at the 2nd traffic light onto Heritage Green Place. Parking is behind the GCMA.
From I-85, take exit 42 to merge onto I-185 N/US 29 N toward Greenville. Continue on to US 29/Mills Avenue/Church Street. Turn left onto Beattie Place. Cross Academy Street onto College Street. The GCMA will be on the right. To park, turn right at the 2nd traffic light onto Heritage Green Place. Parking is behind the GCMA.
Parking fees are $.50 per half hour, to a maximum of $4 per day. Parking is free on weekends and after 5 pm on weekdays.
In the case of inclement weather, please check this website, local television station WYFF 4, the museum’s Facebook page, or @GCMA_SC on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Guests may choose from a wide selection of hotels in downtown Greenville, and others are within an easy drive. To find Greenville hotels nearby, visit HotelsCombined. Contact VisitGreenvilleSC for a complete list.
GCMA is proud to welcome The Westin Poinsett as a Grand Benefactor of the Antiques, Fine Art and Design Weekend. The Westin Poinsett, located in a beautifully renovated property, is Greenville’s only historic downtown Four Diamond hotel. It offers top amenities for its guests, provided by gracious staff.
The Westin Poinsett
120 South Main Street
Heritage Green is the Upstate’s urban arts and cultural campus. Located on College Street just three blocks from Greenville’s vibrant downtown, Heritage Green is home to the Hughes Library (Greenville County Library System’s Main Library), the Little Theatre, the Upcountry History Museum, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, and, of course, the Greenville County Museum of Art.