Burroughs Chapin Art Museum – Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach Art Museum

Myrtle Beach offers the Grand Strand visitor a celebration of the arts – especially visual arts – at the Burroughs Chapin Art Museum.

Visit the Burroughs Chapin Art Museum and you are never far from the beach. From the cozy perch upon a wicker seat atop the 2nd story enclosed porch and the rolling waves and shifting sands are just a few yards away.

A gracious and elegant gentility prevails here. Nothing elitist. How could one feel snobbery when visitors wander through galleries wearing flip flops, the staff and volunteers welcome all with a winning smile and the paintings of the blue-tinged Pete the Cat by artist James Dean can frequently be found on gallery walls.

Where the museum is welcoming by not charging an admission it is also serious in its mission.

It strives to be one of the best regional facilities in presenting the visual arts. Especially important for an area rich in diversified artisans working in ceramics, drawing, sculpture, photography, and the like.

Currently, the vibrancy of colors explodes from gray muted gallery walls with a series of paintings created by the Smith family – mother Betty and daughters Jennifer and Shannon. Tripp Smith’s black and white photography of the barrier islands balances out the talents of this Lowcountry family.

Greenville SC’s Michael McDunn’s mastery of wood radiates in the same galleries. Here his furniture pieces range from a curly pine dresser to a lattice enhanced component table in cherry black lacquer. The show runs until April 17, 2008.

The freedom of three-dimensional forms highlights the work of fabric craftsperson Priscilla Sage whose show along with the nature-inspired acrylic paintings of Brian Taylor is scheduled for a five-week show beginning this weekend.

Fabrics once played a large role in the art museum’s history. For the building was originally the 1920’s beach house for the Cannon family. Cannon as in sheets, towels, and other textiles.

Its picturesque past also included time as Springmaid Villa, home of another textile dynasty.

But like the ebb and flow of the ocean tides – the Villa eventually was on the reverse end of being a beloved beach cottage and became an abandoned building.

Luckily hope, and the vision of many including the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild saved the house from a wrecking ball.

Aside from stunning exhibits, the museum also holds three cultural festivals annually attracting both the multinational locals and tourists.

Late October’s Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican fete, complete with sugar skulls and giving honor to departed family members.

The high-energy festivities of the New Year as celebrated by Asians bring merriment, and a long paper Chinese dragon, to museum partygoers.

Here along with the South Carolina coastal areas – the Gullah culture has survived for over four centuries. Now enjoying a renaissance the Gullah traditions are a favorite at the art museum’s Gullah Festival, which features stirring songs, stories, uplifting dances, and a sampling of typical dishes. This year the festival is scheduled for mid-June.

Also visitors this summer can look forward to the works of a favorite artist returning to the Burroughs Chapin. Stimulating both visually and in subject matter, Jonathan Green has been hailed as a painter of extreme renown in the southern experience.

For those wanting to gain both some knowledge as well as a tan – the facility’s library room offers a resource-rich in self-edification.

Like a perfect conch shell – the Burroughs Chapin Art Museum is a small treasured relic of any Myrtle Beach vacation.

Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum
3100 S Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Phone: (843) 238-2510

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