Founded in 1985 by publishing magnate William S. Morris III in memory of parents, the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia opened in September 1992. It was the first museum in the country devoted to art and artists of the American South.
It features over 5,000 works in the permanent collection including paintings, sculptures, photos, drawings, and prints from artists with ties to the region. In fact, the collection is so extensive that only 5% is on view at once.
The permanent collection, located on the second floor of an office building, runs from 1820 to the present. It starts with Antebellum Portraiture, where the gallery has been set up to resemble a home from that time period. From there you’ll find a gallery focused on the Civil War, genre paintings and still lifes.
Next is Impressionism in the South, a surprising display of works influenced by the European greats. Also in the museum are exhibits on landscape painting, early to mid-2oth century art, late 20th century and contemporary, and self-taught artists. The works of Georgians Lamar Dodd and Howard Finster are unique, as is The Preacher by Benny Andrews, a favorite of the museum.
The nonprofit museum hosts many events, including lectures, film screenings, workshops, and family events. They’re also an affiliate of the Smithsonian Museum.
If You Go
The Morris Museum of Art is located at 1 Tenth Street, Augusta, Georgia 30901. They’re open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 12 to 5 pm and closed Mondays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. The museum is free on Sundays.
The museum is located on the Augusta Riverwalk, within walking distance of most downtown attractions. Parking is available for free during the week at the designated spots next to the Augusta Riverwalk Center. There are also metered spots and parking decks nearby.