Discovering the Art Museum’s Collection

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last week we discussed the different ways in which people collect. The Asheville Art Museum collects American Art from the 20th and 21st centuries with a focus on the Southeast and WNC. The Art Museum can only show 3% of its collection in the permanent collection galleries at any one time. Currently, their are two shows up that focus on the permanent collection but this still only means that you can see under 10% of it in person at one time. With over 2,000 pieces in the permanent collection- not including around 5,000 architectural drawings- the Permanent Collection can be is a vast-if not daunting- resources. However, it need not be unattainable.

Here at the Museum, we are trying to give you more avenues in which to discover the art of the Permanent Collection. The Permanent Collection is of monumental importance to the Museum. It is, in a way, its greatest asset for it gives the Museum a focus, collecting boundaries, and of course, a reputation. It informs all aspects of its educational programming, its exhibition organization, and its fundraising goals.

This week, we have started a project called- Work of the Week – where one work from the Permanent Collection is the focus. What is it, who did it, how did we get it, does it glow in the dark? All of your questions will be answered here at

Now, you can access a large chunk of the collection by first- visiting us- and second- by looking at our online catalog.
It is fun!

As a regular Museum patron, I want to share with you one of my favorite pieces from the collection-

Garage and Trailer, Cherokee, North Carolina

Photograph by Cathryn Griffin

This image was purchased with funds provided by the Asheville Citizen Times in 1999. Griffin uses her beautiful talent to juxtaposes two very different buildings within one frame . By doing this, she comments on the geographic differences of ‘place’ that inform how we live and who we are. Human nature told through placement!

Visit our Permanent Collection site and tell me what piece strikes you. COMMENT below! (and link if you can so we can all see it!)