The Canton Museum of Art began as the Little Civic Art Gallery founded in a second floor room of the Canton Public Library in 1935. It quickly outgrew its limited space as it began to offer numerous exhibits and art classes for the community, and in 1941, a fine Richardsonian building known as the Case Mansion was donated and renovated to become the home of the Canton Art Institute.
During the next thirty years, CAI became a focal point not just for the visual arts but for all the arts in Canton, providing a home for the offices of the Canton Symphony, and facilities for the Madrigal Singers, Canton Chamber Music Society and the Players Guild.
A new home for all the arts in Canton was created when the Cultural Center for the Arts was established in 1970. Here the Institute began a program to build its Permanent Collection, and expanded its exhibits and art classes. We celebrated our 60th Anniversary in 1995 and marked the occasion with a new identity as the Canton Museum of Art.
The 1997-98 season was among the most successful in the Museum's history with over 62,000 people coming through the doors for two noteworthy exhibitions, Norman Rockwell's America and The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936. 1997 also saw the establishment of the Canton Artists League, an organization of area professional and amateur artists that grew to over 120 members in just eighteen months.
In the Fall of 2008 the Museum organized Clyde Singer's America, a joint exhibition with the Butler Institue of Art in Youngstown, Ohio. This was followed in 2009 with the blockbuster exhibit Kimono As Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota, which drew more than 57,000 visitors.