Southern Ohio Museum
The Southern Ohio Museum opened its galleries and programs to the public in 1979, after the community's largest bank moved its headquarters from the handsome Beaux Arts style building at 825 Gallia Street in the heart of Portsmouth's downtown. The building now houses two permanent installations featuring the largest single collection of works by native son and well-known American Scene painter Clarence Holbrook Carter (1904-2000) and "Art of the Ancients," 10,000 prehistoric Native American objects from the Charles and William Wertz Collection. Three other galleries feature group and solo exhibitions of well-known and emerging contemporary Ohio and regional artists. The Museum also offers a 100-seat theatre for music and performing arts, a gift shop, a reading room with more than 1000 volumes and changing exhibits of local historic photographs, a student art studio, a guided tour program, an off-site circus arts studio and year-round programming designed to enhance the exhibitions.
I've been to this museum several times over the course of my life, and every time I leave I think about how underappreciated our little museum is in the community and how many talented people we have that live locally. The first floor gallery seems to be a collection that changes over time showcasing various genres and artists. Upstairs is the Clarence Holbrook Carter collection and the Wertz: Art of the Ancients Collections. The Carter collection is astounding, the pieces themselves are enormous and and any visitor would feel as they are being drawn into these portraits. The Wertz collection is a voluminous collection of Native American artifacts. The placards briefly describe some of the artifacts but overall knowledge shared is shallow and does not do this immense collection justice. I would love to attend events such as the Museum: After Hours or similar events if they were hosted (and they may be) but this hidden gem isn't promoted as well as it should be. Given that there is no entrance fee and only a voluntary donation this place should be on any locals or visiting persons itinerary
Fantastic collection of ancient native American artifacts!
Friendly staff, and beautiful art. It's great to see an art museum focus in local art. It can get a little small though nar the stairs and some of the walkways.
Worth a visit. Best artifact collection short of Columbus history museum