The Columbia Museum of Art is South Carolina's premier international art museum with extraordinary collections of European and American fine and decorative art that span centuries. Founded in 1950, the museum opened its new building on Main Street in 1988 by transforming an urban department store into a sleek and airy, light-filled space with 25 galleries.
The collections include masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, works by significant furniture and silver makers, as well as modern and contemporary art. Of particular interest are Sandro Botticelli's Nativity, Claude Monet's The Seine at Giverny and art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The museum also offers changing exhibitions from renowned museums and educational programs that include group and public tours, lectures, films and concerts.
Meeting and reception spaces in the building can accommodate as few as 10 or as many as 1,000, and the museum includes a catering kitchen and 150 seat auditorium in addition to reception spaces. Other amenities include a museum shop and art class studios. The museum is conveniently located downtown near lodging, restaurants, and public transportation.
- Free for museum members. Become a member today!
- $10 adults, $5 students, $8 senior citizens (ages 65 and over), $8 military.
- Free for children ages 5 and under (does not apply to groups).
- FREE every Sunday courtesy of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.
Top 10 Reasons to Visit Columbia Museum of Art
1. One of South Carolina’s truly pre-eminent international art museums.
2. World class collection of European and American fine and decorative art that spans centuries.
3. Sandro Botticelli’s “Nativity” is part of the permanent collection.
4. Claude Monet’s “The Seine at Giverny” is also part of the permanent collection.
5. As is Art Glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
6. Changing exhibitions from premier museums worldwide.
7. Lecture, film and art classes.
8. Charles Wadsworth concert series features renowned musicians from around the world.
9. Great shopping in the Museum Shop.
10. Museum building is a captivating architectural conversion – transformed from an urban department store, now a sleek and airy, light-filled space with 25 galleries.
The Contemporaries of the Columbia Museum of Art announced the installation of the Chihuly Chandelier in the Museum's David Wallace Robinson, Jr. Atrium on April 9, 2010. The installation marks the first of its kind in South Carolina and measures an impressive 14' tall, 5' wide and 11' deep. The design was chosen to enhance the asymmetrical shape of the Museum's atrium and a "Carolina Sunset" color-scheme incorporates Columbia's "Famously Hot" shades of golds, oranges and reds.
The commission is a significant work by the internationally renowned artist, Dale Chihuly of Washington State. Chihuly installations are found in numerous museums and private collections around the world, including: The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Seattle Museum of Art, The de Young in San Francisco, and the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dale Chihuly's expertise in glass blowing has transformed the medium, and his works are recognized by the organically inspired shapes and bold colors of his design.
Columbia Museum of Art is South Carolina's premier international art museum with extraordinary collections of European and American fine and decorative art that span centuries. Founded in 1950, the museum opened its new building on Main Street in 1988 by transforming an urban department store into a sleek and airy, light-filled space with 25 galleries. Meeting and reception spaces in the building can accommodate as few as 10 or as many as 1,000, and the museum includes a catering kitchen and 150 seat auditorium in addition to reception spaces. Other amenities include a museum shop and art class studios. The museum is conveniently located downtown near lodging, restaurants, and public transportation.
Give the Extraordinary...
You'll find creative, gift-giving ideas for adults and children of all ages and for any occasion in the Columbia Museum of Art's Museum Shop. Bring home favorite art images from the museum's collection. Is there a catalogue from a past exhibition that you wished you had purchased? Commemorative exhibition catalogues and related books are still available from many of the museum's traveling shows. The Museum Shop now carries handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry and crafts created by local artisans. And that's just the beginning! The Museum Shop carries merchandise from the great museum shops of the Met, MoMA and Whitney, art books and puzzles, jewelry in all price ranges, children's books, toys and creative project kits, and much more.
UPS shipping available. Limited in-town delivery.
Museum members get discounts.
241515 Main St
Currently considering a membership here. We (myself, my son, my parents) cherish this museum. We have been long-time visitors of the CMA and try to see each new exhibit. I love the gift shop and all the things it offers for people of all ages! We appreciate so much the free second Sundays, discounted renovation prices and the interactive exhibits/spaces for kids. My son knows how to carry himself and appreciate art with many thanks to being raised coming here once a month. We feel lucky to have this in our neighborhood.
This museum is a beautiful sight right in the middle of Downtown Columbia. Just on the outside there's lots of beautiful landscaping, statues, and sculptures that immediately catch your eye. It made me excited for what was inside. A big plus, is that it's free for any college ID holder. Score for me. There were two featured exhibits at the time of my visit. "Dasfuskie Memories" that displayed a series of photographs capturing isolated African-American life on Daufuskie Island; It was interesting seeing and reading about their cultures and customs. And "Big & Bold" that featured various massive sized and colorful displays; it was breathtaking. The pieces in the other displays were nice as well, I just wish that they had more pieces featuring black artists. The museum could've also featured more interactive exhibits, but I still enjoyed myself. All in all, the Columbia Museum of Art is a great time for anyone wanting to soak in some culture.
I always like to try something different for my birthday and in 2017 I wanted to go to a art museum. I decided on taking a small trip to the one in Columbia. I had Yelped it to get a feel for it, but actually being there was amazing!!! You have to witness it for yourself!!! There was so much to take in. I couldn't hardly contain myself!!! There was so many styles of art and many different artists represented. There was some type of street festival going on, but it ended early in the afternoon. This made it kind of hard to find a parking spot on the street, but I did find one not far from the museum. It was also very inexpensive for admission to the museum. I took so many pictures inside the museum. I think I took well over 200 pictures just inside the museum. If anyone is looking for something to do while in Columbia I suggest that you put this on your bucket list of things to do in the SC!!!
When our oldest daughter first moved to Columbia, she lived quite near the museum. I have been fortunate to have been able to visit on a number of occasions. Love the special exhibits which I have seen. The permanent collection is also quite impressive. I enjoyed the journey through ancient arts and civilizations, up through more modern times. The courtyard and grounds outside are also very nice, the fountain, benches, flora. A peaceful respite in a busy urban setting.
Free on Sundays to visit this relatively small clean museum, easy to park on the street...Two hours should be sufficient for an average visitor to complete the entire museum.
Very good collection of art which is free, unless you want to go into the featured gallery which was worth the price, during my time it was a gallery of Hollywood costumes from accurate eras of time.
The museum is small, but friendly and unexpectedly nice. Special exhibits are downstairs and require the full entrance fee even on free Sunday's. The upstairs houses the permanent collections. First there are some few, but nice relics from, Egypt, Sumaria, Greece, Rome, etc. The paintings, many medieval, are high quality and well preserved. Galleries move forward in time. For the $15 (senior discounts are available among others) it's worth a visit in conjunction with continuous special exhibits. Free Sunday's is a great deal. The museum is located on Main Street in a very pedestrian friendly area. As always beware of parking tickets.
Loved it! The "Remix" exhibit really makes you think. The permanent exhibitions are beautiful. The kid zone was pretty cool, too. It's just the right size to explore in a few hours without getting total museum fatigue. Bring your earbuds so you can listen to the TAP Tour on your phone. No download required, it's just an easy-to-use mobile website. The audio (and sometimes video) really enhances what you learn about the art and gives you more time to look at it, rather than at the label. Friendly staff and cool location.
An exquisite small museum offering a great overview of art through the ages - galleries include art from europe, asia and the Americas, and cover medieval, renaissance, baroque, and 19th and 20th century American periods - an incredible amount for the space. If you enjoy spending an hour or two in pleasant contemplation or perhaps even a few moments being challenged by the art you're looking at - CMA is a good good place to spend some of your time in Columbia. Truly enjoyed this visit!
I had been trying to schedule our first visit to the CMA to fall on a night when they had a cool event going on so naturally we came for Arts & Draughts. I was completely blown away by the Norman Rockwell:Behind the Camera exhibit. I'm not a big art critic but that exhibit was really mind blowing. My favorites were The Golden Rule and New kids in the neighborhood. He did not shy away from civil rights as his subject matter and I loved that. The exhibit is going on until January I definitely recommend you dont miss it.
We visited as they were setting up the first floor for a special exhibit. As a result we just were able to view the second floor which houses the permanent collection. I'm sure our assessment would have been higher if both floors were open. However you can only assess what you actually see. The permanent collection is small. It is organized chronologically, the way I like it, but unfortunately it is not strictly time oriented. There are a few big names, but quality is more important to us than names. And we did not find as many no-name gems as we would have liked.
Columbia is so fortunate to have such a great museum. It's not MoMa or the Met, but for South Carolina it's dang good. We have a Monet, and some other great pieces. The traveling exhibit is generally great. The Chihuly right when you walk in is incredible. Sundays are free. In my opinion it is worth the membership just so you go more often, and get reduced rates when you attend events at the museum. Arts and Draughts is always a great time.
I have to say, I was impressed by the CMA. I was only going to be in Columbia for a couple of hours to see my sister, and we decided to come here since I'm an artist from Los Angeles and love visiting museums. It's fairly small, so you can probably get through it in an hour or an hour and a half, depending on how thorough you are. They have these fun interactive projects on the second floor, that you should participate in for the hell of it. Admission is $5 for students and you can find metered parking on the street. We saw the Mark Rothko exhibition, which was good. The only thing I wish there were more of is contemporary sculpture, but honestly, for what it is, I quite enjoyed it.
Love this place so much I enjoy seeing all the talented artists works of art. Check out the free documentaries at noon sometimes they will expand your knowledge of different types of art and artists. I saw one recently about a glass blowing master from Seattle and today I saw one on Remington and his works on the early west. Sunday is the best time to go because the main exhibits are free. Check out the gift shop for cool postcards to send to friends and family. Nice place to relax and free your mind and possibly learn something new.
Great Looking Space! Huge (two story) Museum! If you are making a special trip for this Museum check their schedule. We went in between exhibitions and it is still $10.00 general Admission to see only the permanent Collection. See if you Art fans recognize this glass Artist - He has a piece in our Uptown Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC)
Okay, 2014 is finally here and so is old man winter. Or should I say grandpa winter. With morning temperatures of 20 degrees and highs of 35, we went to the museum. Caught the final days of the Annie Lebowvitz photography exhibit. Being familiar with her work, I knew it was time well spent, nut this was photography in a whole different level. The photos jumped to life and you were mesmerized by the subject matter. Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sigmund Fraud, Niagara Falls, New Mexico and so on. Today is the last day. Do not miss the exhibit. Truly masterful. Artwork in its finest display, by an artist who knows how to focus on the extraordinarily simplest subject and present it in award winning form. By the way infront of the museum is a small ice rink. Strictly for kids.
We went back in February. Having a clear vision of the museums in Charlotte, I was not expecting CMA. A massive two-story complex with hundreds of pieces in their permanent collection and nationally-recognized rotating exhibits. A trip through the permanent collection is like walking through the pages of an art history text. You are first met with pottery and sculpture from ancient Rome before moving on to an exceptionally large collection of Renaissance art from Italy, France, and the Germanic states reflecting the artwork of the Catholic Church. It was absolutely breathtaking to be face-to-face with masterworks that were hundreds - and in some cases, thousands - of years old. Looping through the various rooms, you come upon one of the other strengths of CMA, their collection of centuries-old artwork from China, Japan, and Korea. Paintings, porcelain, stone, jade, and glass works make up this portion. There is also a section of American colonial furniture and Tiffany glass, as well as space dedicated to emerging local artists and area school art programs. The touring exhibit on our visit was the Impressionism exhibit. You could easily see the evolution of this style through examples across the board. The well-known landscapes of Monet and Renoir, John Singer Sargent, and French salon works. A beautiful exhibit that I feel lucky to have been able to catch! The CMA is something I can see making a day-trip to visit again in the future.
Like they said - Art, drink and be happy! Take a trip to the museum, have a nice micro brew or glass of vino, and look at the nice pictures. This is another nice venue for Columbia- a nice way to spend a Friday night. ! Life is good! Nice :) "Arts & Draughts is a new series designed to be an interactive party on the first Friday of every month at the Museum. " The last time this will be available is April 1st- ??? Beer and wine cash bar provided by The Whig. Featuring Thomas Creek Brewery from Greenville, SC. The best party band in town, The Capitol City Playboys will take the stage at 8 p.m. Inspired by independent and SC Skate culture, Sk8 and Create will be on display in the Community Gallery. Affiliates from Pour it Now and Bluetile will showcase a short skate film in the Orientation gallery. (Check out last year's Sk8 and Create opening on Youtube.) The Power Company returns to Arts & Draughts to stir up the crowd promoting their show on April 15th and 16th in Columbia. Their spring show will feature a repurposed version of their previous performance designed around the Lesley Dill exhibition, "I Heard a Voice." Internationally acclaimed design firm, The Half and Half will sell concert posters and showcase original installations based on typeface.
Best museum in Columbia, for sure! The permanent collection is small, but good for a city our size, with big name and lesser known artists well-represented. Everything is organized well, and the museum itself is beautiful. Downstairs, they regularly feature special exhibits. Right now, they are doing a look at the source photography used in Norman Rockwell's paintings, and it was great! Note that you will have to pay for special exhibits, even on free days. The museum also hosts a number of special events over the year, including a regular Arts & Draughts community event, at which you can get some beer, learn a craft, and explore. Movie showings and special tours are also pretty frequent, and I even saw Neil Gaiman here a couple of years back on a storytelling tour. Great way to spend a day!
The Museum brings some fabulous exhibits to Columbia. The Museum also has some wonderful socializing events. Check out their website frequently to keep up with all their activities. http://www.columbiamuseum.org/