The Museum and Gallery at Bob Jones University

**Update: The Museum and Gallery at BJU is currently closed for a two-year renovation, and the Heritage Green location is permanently closed.**

 

The Museum and Gallery at Bob Jones University is located in an unassuming building on campus that belies a vast collection of over 400 paintings, 200 pieces of furniture, and more than 1000 antiquities that Dr. Bob Jones Jr. amassed during his lifetime.

The museum has been located on campus and open to the public since 1965. As you walk into the dimly lit but grand foyer, a large chandelier, thick draperies, and tapestries adorn the walls and ceiling. The tapestries, sculptures, and period furniture are just part of the world-famous collection that opened in 1951 and features cultural and religious history works from the 14th through 19th centuries. 

The collection is arranged by time period and then by region with many Gothic pieces along the way ensconcing visitors in a rich old-world feeling of luxury. The museum’s antiquity collection features Egyptian, Roman, Mesopotamian, Iranian, Greek, Persian, and Jewish cultures spanning 37 centuries.

The holdings include rare Russian and Greek icons with dedication inscriptions to the Romanov family, a Russian imperial dynasty whose rule spanned for three centuries, from 1613 until 1917.

The M&G features several other rare pieces including an Egyptian Pottery Cylindrical Jar that dates to 3200 B.C. and a painting that is dated circa 1330 by a Sicilian painter.

But the M&G is best known for its extensive baroque collection, considered to be one of the most important in America, with Italian, Spanish and Dutch pieces.  According to a museum spokesperson, the baroque collection “is fourth in the nation for the most Italian Baroque paintings.”

A children’s learning center allows kids hand-on interaction to learn more about the people and art of past eras. The M&G also sponsors A Museum on the Move, an interactive program that takes art learning programs directly to classrooms across the Upstate.

A second, satellite location at Heritage Green is housed in the old Coca Cola building in front of the Hughes Library. This location has smaller and more themed pieces that are rotated around every 18 months.

Currently the exhibit features Charles Dickens, as a continuing narrative, taking a look at the Victorian era. Several vignettes represent London's notable settings and visitors can get a glimpse into Queen Victoria's England through day-to-day environments and Dickens' writings as a journalist. You can see a publishing office, a drawing room, the Mannette's dining room and a seamstress room.

It's not all just Charles Dickens though; other Victorian personalities are also represented including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Darwin, Caroline Norton and Florence Nightingale.

Also on display at the Heritage Green location are hundreds of objects from the collection of Dawn Corley, The Charleston Silver Lady best known for her extensive silver collection.

Several holiday events are planned including a Children's Christmas Celebration: A Baroque Christmas on Dec. 7th at the BJU location and A Victorian Touch of Christmas Nov 26th through Jan 12th at Heritage Green. For more information visit the Bob Jones Museum and Gallery website.

Know before you go:

The M&G at Bob Jones University is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 2-5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 seniors and $3 students. Children 12 and under are free. Audio guides are available for $5 and guided tours are offered on Thursdays and Fridays for an additional $3.

The M&G at Heritage Green is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 2-5 p.m. If visiting both museums on the same day, discounts are available.

Photo credits:
St. James the Greater, Pompeo Batoni. From the Bob Jones University Collection.
Madonna and Child, Carlo Dolci. From the Bob Jones University Collection. 

Sherry Jackson is a freelance writer, editor and entrepreneur. Her articles have been featured in InfoWorld Magazine,Entrepreneur.com, USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, Jetsetter, Bootsnall, Gadling, Yahoo, See the South, Beckett Media, The Simpsonville Sentinel and many other print and online publications. For clips and examples of her work, please visit her website at www.dragonflyventures.com.