Charlottesville Museums: Where to Get Your Culture Fill
While Charlottesville may be small, the city has no shortage of awesome museums. If you love art, or learning about science, or spending hours looking at documents in history museums, Charlottesville has something for you. If you need somewhere to eat after visiting a museum, check out this post.
Charlottesville History Museums
Don’t miss visiting Charlottesville’s most famous historical site, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the U.S., designed Monticello. Jefferson’s design fits perfectly on its summit in the Southwest Mountains. Monticello has been named a National Historic Landmark as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical importance. On a tour of the main house, you’ll learn about the Declaration of Independence and early American history in a new way.
If you want to see more presidents’ homes after Monticello, head over to Ash Lawn-Highland. Ash Lawn-Highland was home to James Monroe, the fifth President of the U.S. While not as famous as Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland is less crowded and can give you a more intimate history lesson. Much has been said about Jefferson and Monticello, but Monroe’s Highland is still somewhat mysterious. Visit Ash Lawn-Highland to find out about what historians and archaeologists have recently discovered about Monroe.
While most of the Charlottesville museums here may seem similar to museums in big cities, the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center is local and intensely personal. The museum’s mission is to preserve the history and legacy of the African-American community in Charlottesville and the surrounding area. The museum’s permanent exhibition, Pride Overcomes Prejudice, presents the oral and written histories of local African-Americans. Most of the histories come from people connected to the Jefferson School in which the museum is housed.
Charlottesville Art Museums
Charlottesville’s art museums may be on the smaller side, but they are less busy and allow for a more intimate view of artwork than large museums do.
Charlottesville’s Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection is small but unique and incredibly memorable. UVA owns the collection, and it is well worth a visit. This is the only art museum outside Australia dedicated to the exhibition and study of indigenous Australian art. A trip to Kluge-Ruhe is more than a trip to a normal art museum. The museum provides information about the history and treatment of Aboriginal people. You’ll also learn interesting facts about traditional Aboriginal ways of creating art.
The Fralin Museum of Art, also owned by UVA, features permanent exhibits of art from around the world. The collection has works dating back to ancient times as well as recent works. This museum is a fascinating place to spend a rainy afternoon.
McGuffey Art Center, located near the Downtown Mall, is different from other Charlottesville museums. While the space displays temporary exhibits like a museum, McGuffey Art Center also offers art classes. These classes include metal-smithing, drawing, dance, glassblowing, improv, drumming, painting, and ceramic. If you get inspired by art in a new exhibit, consider sticking around to create your own masterpiece.
Charlottesville has a rich history and culture that sets it apart from other small cities. If you’re looking for a home in the area, check out some of the incredible homes in the area on Virginia Estates’ website here.