Academy Art Museum

The building which houses the Academy Art Museum at 106 South Street is one of Easton’s historic landmarks ヨ deeply tied to the educational community in Easton since 1800. In 1820, the original building (now the Museum’s Lederer Gallery) was completed and became home to the first chartered school in Easton. By 1853, the building was expanded (now the Museum’s Healy Gallery) and by 1866 had become the High School of Talbot County, later renamed the Male School of Easton and subsequently the Female School of Easton. By the 1880s, the school was known as the Easton Primary and Grammar School and continued that function until 1933 when it was sold, becoming a funeral home and then an antique store.

The Academy of the Arts, the Museum’s previous name, was founded in 1958 by six Eastern Shore residents who created a place dedicated to the knowledge, practice and appreciation of the arts. The Museum originally operated out of a local church before it purchased the building in 1960 which is now its home. Many additions and improvements were made over the years to the building as the Museum’s membership grew. By the mid-1980s, due to its tremendous growth in programs, the Museum purchased the Thomas-Hardcastle house next door. In 1989-1990, after considerable renovation and restoration, the house was joined to the Museum’s original building through a two-story glass atrium adding 10,000 square feet for administrative offices and classrooms to the Museum’s space.

In 2005, the Museum added a new wing at the end of the atrium housing the Performing Arts Auditorium and a second story above for a new dance studio. At the same time, an extensive reconstruction of the Thomas-Hardcastle house provided space for two permanent collection galleries, a new library, a music studio and renovated administrative offices. Today, the Museum has become the cultural hub of the Eastern Shore for art, music, and educational programming. The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums, a distinction bestowed on fewer than 5% of U.S. museums for their commitment to excellence, accountability, and high professional standards.

Place Categories: Art MuseumPlace Tags: fiber, illustration, paintings, printmaking, sculptures and woodworking

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