The Wiregrass Museum of Art was established in 1988 as a response to a damning magazine article published two years prior that claimed the museum’s hometown of Dothan was one of the worst places to live in America, partly due to the city’s lack of a museum. A committee of local citizens set about planning the museum and housed it in downtown Dothan’s Water and Electric building, which was originally constructed between 1912 and 1913 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Wiregrass has a collection of over 600 pieces with a number of modern and contemporary examples including works by American artists John Dine and Robert Indiana. The museum regularly exhibits works from its permanent collection alongside temporary exhibitions which have included shows by kinetic sculptor and animator John Douglas Powers’ Field of Reeds and Alabama-based photographer Beverly West Leach.
Wiregrass Museum of Art, 126 Museum Avenue, Dothan, AL, USA, +1 334 794 3871
Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment
Founded in 2006, Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment is an artistic complex made up of gallery and studio spaces, a theatre, a record store and various food stands that is quickly becoming one of the Southeast region’s most popular cultural haunts. The center, which is housed in a former textile mill built in 1901 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, is home to over 100 working local artists including sculptural and multimedia artist Katherine Purves and painter Logan Tanner and his surreal creations. Lowe Mill regularly exhibits the work of its resident artists alongside a program of art shows that has included a presentation of watercolors by Alabama artist Starr Weems DeGraffinried.
Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment, 2211 Seminole Drive, Huntsville, AL, USA, +1 256 533 0399
Mobile Museum of Art
Established in 1963, the Mobile Museum of Art, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, is located within the grounds of the beautiful Langan Municipal Park in the cultural Gulf city of Mobile and, following a $15 million expansion in 2002, is the biggest art museum of its kind on the Tampa to New Orleans stretch of the Gulf Coast. Overseen by the Mobile Art Association, the museum has its own outdoor sculpture trail which was established in 2010 and has featured the work of Louisiana artist Cliff Tresner, and an extensive permanent collection of over 9,000 works including art by the late African-American folk artist Mose T. The museum also presents travelling and temporary exhibitions which has recently included a show by Georgia-based painter Anke Schofield.
Mobile Museum of Art, 4850 Museum Drive, Mobile, AL, USA, +1 251 208 5200
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was formed in 1930 in Alabama’s historical and culture-rich state capital, becoming the state’s first fine arts museum, with the aim of collecting, preserving and promoting American art for the Montgomery community. Initiated by a group of local artist which included the Alabama-born regionalist painter John Kelly Fitzpatrick, the museum started out life in a small abandoned schoolhouse, but for the past 25 years has resided in the picturesque 77-acre Blount Cultural Park and will soon expand its grounds with the addition of an outdoor sculpture garden. The museum has an extensive collection of North American art with impressive examples of outsider art, American Studio Glass, and contemporary photography that includes the iconic portraits of Armenian-Canadian photographer Yousef Karsh and works by Southern sculptor Frank Fleming.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Museum Drive, Montgomery, AL, USA, +1 334 240 4333