A Hidden Gem, Right in the Grand Strand, the Franklin G. Burroughs Art Museum.
Admission is free but donations are appreciated. The main exhibit hall is on the first floor with a small exhibition space upstairs (elevator or nice wide stairwell). You can easily see everything in less than 30 minutes, or linger for an hour. Exhibits vary and change frequently so there is always something to please someone in your group. And unlike big city art museums, you won’t leave exhausted and overwhelmed. This museum is just the right size!
There is free parking, about 10 spaces hidden under live oak trees. Restrooms are spotless and modern; they have a small gift shop and a small area for snacks overlooking the dunes and ocean.
Just a bit of the MUSEUM HISTORY
The Museum first opened to the public in June, 1997, but was conceived some 13 years earlier by a small group of Myrtle Beach visionaries – artists, art patrons, business leaders, cultural enthusiasts and other private citizens.
The building itself dates to 1924, when it was built by textile industry mogul Eugene Cannon in the Cabana section of Myrtle Beach. It was subsequently sold to Col. Elliot White Springs for use by his family and executives of Springs Industries and re-christened Springmaid Villa.
In 1975, the Villa changed hands again and was slated for demolition. A campaign to save Springmaid Villa began, led initially by Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild President Gaye Sanders Fisher. The building's survival, however, was contingent on its relocation: a Herculean effort organized by Guild member and Myrtle Beach Councilman Harry Charles, along with his wife, Jane. Relocating the 150-ton structure required two flatbed trucks for three full days, with a team of city employees, utility workers and every member of the Guild working side by side.
The Villa was taken to its new home eight miles south, an undeveloped property whose donation by the Myrtle Beach Farms Company, precursor to the Burroughs & Chapin Company, had been negotiated by Harry Charles. Charles was also instrumental in creating the Springmaid Villa Art Museum Corporation, a new non-profit with a board of trustees charged with converting and later managing the property as a public Art Museum. Following a decade-long fundraising effort, the Museum opened its doors in June, 1997.
In recognition of the land donation, it was re-named for the founders of Myrtle Beach Farms and became the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum.
Definitely worth a stop while you are in Myrtle Beach.