Inaugurated in 1997, following 13 years of planning by the community, the museum is housed in a villa built in 1927 by a textile industry mogul. Slated for demolition in 1975, the 150-ton structure was moved 8 miles south to its current location. In its 16th year, the Museum received the prestigious Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for Outstanding Arts Organization.
The Art Museum maintains four distinct collections of art:
Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild (WACG) When the Museum opened in 1997, the Guild’s collection of 46 works by 29 artists of regional renown became the Museum’s first gift of art and the beginning of its permanent collection.
The Bishop Collection of Antique Maps & Historical Prints Collection includes 15 maps from 1606 to the mid-19th century illustrating what has been termed “the golden age of cartography,” plus a selection of 15 complementary historical prints.
The Barbara Burgess and John Dinkelspiel Collection of Southern Art - includes 21 works by Jonathan Green along with works by nearly a dozen other Southern artists. Among the more than 50 works in the collection are paintings, pastels, photographs, prints and lithographs, sculpture and collage.
The Museum Collection of Gifts and Purchases – Since 1997, the museum has acquired a number of works through gifts from generous donors, from exhibiting artists and through purchases. The collection continues to grow through the efforts and generosity of donors and patrons.
The Art Museum has 11 galleries, with changing exhibitions mounted throughout the year Exhibitions include artists of national renown as well as some of the region's most celebrated artists.