It wasn’t just the air-conditioning. As I walked into the soaring lobby, I was drawn to a gallery that contained the museum’s collection of Andrew Wyeth watercolors. The stark, beautifully desolate paintings, mostly winter scenes of Wyeth’s native New England, seemed to transport me from the heat of a SC summer to a wintery landscape in Maine.
Wyeth’s watercolors capture the rugged, mysterious, and at times lonely spirit of the region. The artist himself called the Greenville Collection, "the very best collection of my watercolors in any public museum in this country."
Exploring the rest of the museum I discovered other treasures: works by Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keefe and Jasper Johns. What began in the 1930s as a small, regional gallery has grown into one of the nation’s premier art museums. The museum’s collection surveys American art from Colonial Times to present with a special emphasis on work by Southern artists or on Southern themes.
The museum is open Tuesday–Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings. On Sundays, hours are 1 to 5 p.m.
A trip to this wonderful museum is the ultimate bargain. Admission is always free. For more information, contact Greenville County Museum of Art.