Sweet Briar College believes that the study of original works of art is an invaluable component of a liberal arts education. As such, the College has an impressive collection of art, which is housed in several art galleries on campus. The collection provides an ongoing opportunity for students and professors to examine and research significant paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and other works of fine art. The galleries are also a cultural destination for the public.
In 1984, Sweet Briar College renovated the its former refectory to house the school’s art collection and art library. The building, now called the Anne Gary Pannell Center, is the College’s principal art gallery and is home to the its art history program. In addition, it is a venue for lectures and classes as well as other educational programs and public events.
This main gallery is supplemented by two satellite galleries, one located in the lobby of Benedict Hall and one adjacent to the theater and dance studios in Babcock Fine Arts Center. In addition to hosting exhibitions, both Babcock and Benedict galleries also serve as spaces for talks and social events and Babcock Gallery is occasionally used as a teaching and performance space by theater and dance faculty.
Art acquisitions and art collection-related programs and activities are supported in part by the College’s Friends of Art.
The Sweet Briar College Art Collection and Galleries maintain institutional memberships in the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, the Virginia Association of Museums and the American Alliance of Museums.