The mission of the Columbia Museum of Art is to spark powerful connections through art from around the corner and around the world in an environment that is welcoming to all. The CMA stands as the largest international art museum in the state of South Carolina, centrally located a short distance from Charleston, SC, Greenville, SC and Charlotte, NC. The organization is committed to the concept of an inclusive and participatory 21st century museum, where art is meant to be experienced, not just seen.
Established in 1950, the CMA is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. The museum welcomes more than 135,000 visitors annually—including more than 28,000 children—acting as a catalyst for community creativity and serving as the cultural anchor of Columbia’s Main Street district. The CMA includes 124,000 square feet of temporary galleries and new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, interactive spaces, studios, striking public spaces and two entrances. The Boyd Plaza, a fully updated public space adjacent to the museum, provides an attractive outdoor art and gathering space downtown.
The CMA maintains a varied collection numbering approximately 7,000 objects, with works by artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Renee Cox, Charles and Ray Eames, Sam Gilliam, Robert Henri, Claude Monet, Tintoretto, Pat Steir, and Andy Warhol. The governing Collections Committee has an eye to the future and embraces accessions of remarkable artworks that foster engagement through visual conversations. The museum mounts between four and six special exhibitions per year, with a dynamic roster of related public and educational programs. The CMA operates with an approximately $4.5 million budget and a staff of 30 full-time and 23 part-time employees (including security and special event staff).
The city of Columbia is the state’s capital and second largest city. The Columbia metropolitan area is home to thriving colleges and universities, award-winning hospital systems, and diverse and charming neighborhoods to suit any lifestyle. Lively business and retail districts with cafés, restaurants, art galleries, and unique shops along with a Riverwalk present year-round opportunities for entertainment, socializing, and enjoying the outdoors. The city includes historic architecture of a bygone era while high-tech start-ups and artist venues make up Columbia’s diverse downtown areas.