Did you know that Martinsville – Henry County is home to six museums plus several exciting exhibits? These museums and galleries will encourage your mind to wonder into your past and spark your creativity.
In this series, we will let you in on a few secrets and lesser-known facts about some of these award-winning facilities and inspire you to rediscover our museums.
The second to mention in our quest to rediscover Martinsville’s Museums is Piedmont Arts. Located in the heart of Martinsville’s Arts & Cultural District, Piedmont Arts is an award-winning art museum that curates thought-provoking exhibitions by international, national and regional artists. The museum also offers performing arts—from concerts to plays to children's performances—and a full schedule of art classes for all ages. So, to jump right in, below you will find some behind-the-scenes information:
• Piedmont Arts has been part of the Martinsville-Henry County community for 58 years. • Admission to Piedmont Arts exhibits is always free of charge. • The Discovery Room at Piedmont Arts offers free crafts, games and learning activities for kids every day, plus it is always admission free. • The house that Piedmont Arts calls home was built at the turn of the 20th century by Colonel Charles B. Bryant, known as “The Colonel”. The house was purchased by Michael R. Schottland, the founder of Virginia Glass & Mirror, in 1918 and was completely remodeled in the 1930s. In 1981, the heirs of the Schottland family donated the house to Piedmont Arts to be a center for the arts and culture in Martinsville-Henry County. • A turn of the century chandelier original to the house hangs outside the museum’s Lynwood Artists Gallery (what was once the Schottland’s dining room). It is rumored to be one of a pair from the Governor’s mansion in Richmond, though there is no written documentation. • Staff offices are located in the house’s former bedrooms. There are three original bathrooms in the offices: one is purple (sink, tub and all) and two are black. • Beyond the brick archway in the Piedmont Arts galleries, there was once an impressive rose garden. Today, the arch leads from the original house to the museum’s main galleries.