Our historical anchor begins with the preservation of our building, the 1890’s county jail, a Victorian jewel, which stands just east of the town square. The building’s many lives are part of our artistic heritage and development.
Built in 1892 as the Troup County Jail, the building has served as a furniture store and as the LaGrange Daily News offices.
In 1978, the Callaway Foundation donated the historic building to the Chattahoochee Valley Art Association (CVAA), the artistic foundation of the LaGrange Art Museum. CVAA, created in 1963 by a group of local artists and art patrons as a venue for showcasing the work of local area artists, began the permanent collection when a hometown boy of national prominence, Lamar Dodd donated a painting.
The CVAA was successful in its efforts to provide an exhibition outlet for visual artists and classes for community members. They occupied the building from 1978 to 1990 when the board voted to change the name along with the mission and become a museum, the Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum (CVAM). In 1996, CVAM was honored to serve as the host for the annual Georgia Watercolor Society National Show. In 2007, the name changed to LaGrange Art Museum (LAM).
Community spirit has always played a role in the museum’s history. In concert with the Lamar Dodd Arts Center at LaGrange College, the museum cosponsors the LaGrange National Biennial, a nationally juried exhibition held across the sponsor’s venues.
Always supportive of local artists and collections, LAM hosts Visual Artists Alliance of LaGrange (VAAL) meetings and an exhibition are held annually.
In 2007, West Point Stevens Foundation and Callaway Foundation funded the development of the Center for Creative Learning, a facility designed to house educational programs. Adjacent to the museum, it provides permanent space for teaching children, adults and teachers and serves as a community meeting point.
Morrill Turner Hutchinson, an honored and long time supporter of the arts in LaGrange, donated funding in 2009 to preserve the LAM permanent collection. The completion of the Hutchinson Conservation Center and the diligence of Museum Studies students from LaGrange College Lamar Dodd School of Art with oversight by Dorothy Joiner, PhD and John D. Lawrence, the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Art & Design, allows LAM to move closer to creating a Permanent Collection online catalogue.
Be part of the dynamic journey, join LAM.