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The Huntington Museum of Art has been a point of civic pride for residents of Huntington for close to seven decades. It is widely recognized as the finest art museum in West Virginia and is the largest art museum within the central Appalachian region between Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Richmond. The museum is located among the spectacular hills above Ritter Park, on a beautiful 52-acre site where art and nature blend in harmony. Visitors are constantly impressed that such a small city could be home to such an exceptional collection and extraordinary facility that includes walking trails, outdoor sculpture gardens, a lecture hall, art library, and conservatory.
Backstory and Context
Originally founded as the Huntington Galleries, the facility opened in 1952 as a location to showcase art for the Huntington community. As the Museum's collection grew and became a popular attraction in the Tri-State area, the name was changed to the Huntington Museum of Art in 1987. The Museum offers educational programs for all ages and many different types of tours, camps and classes for children. The Museum's James D. Francis Art Research Library is utilized by Marshall University for research projects, allowing students to gain experience in an archival setting outside of the university. The Museum also offers multiple classes in the arts for all ages. Visitors to the Museum can enjoy regional treasures such as hand-blown glass from from the Ohio Valley and Appalachian folk art. The Museum also holds a large collection of American art, furniture, and firearms. The European collection includes paintings, sculpture, and other works dating from the 16th century. Among some of the Museum’s greatest treasures in this area are landscapes by Theodore Rousseau and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and drawings by Manet and Picasso. The British portrait collection includes striking aristocratic portraits, furniture, silver, and one of the earliest six octave pianos ever made. The works in the Museum’s Asian collection include portraits, porcelain, jade, woodcuts, and carved ivory that date from 206 BC to early 20th century. The Touma Near Eastern Collection includes works of art from North Africa and to Southern Europe, providing a glimpse of encompassing Pre-Roman, Roman, Greek, Islamic, Christian, and Jewish civilizations.
Gillispie, John "Huntington Museum of Art." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 11 October 2010. Web. 27 November 2016.
“HMOA: About Us.” Accessed December 1, 2016. https://www.hmoa.org/about-us/about-hma/.