WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — What was once a country estate, community, and model farm in Winston-Salem is now a place where people can learn, shop, eat, and exercise.
Historic Reynolda includes gardens, shops, walking trails and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Allison Perkins, Wake Forest Associate Provost of Reynolda House & Reynolda Gardens, says it is a place that showcases the beauty and complexity of the American story.
“We strive to create a space and an experience where everyone can have a sense of belonging,” Perkins said.
About 200 masterpieces from American artists are permanently showcased inside the museum including oil paintings, photographs, sculptures and drawings. Large-scale exhibits rotate twice a year in the museum’s Babcock wing. The museum’s deputy director says because of its location, Reynolda is the first museum experience for many guests.
“It’s a great collection to not only explore American history, but American art. Learn about art and go on a journey of your own,” Phil Archer said.
Dr. Felecia Piggott-Anderson brought students from Carver High School to the gallery in February so they could experience “Black Is Beautiful.” The photography exhibit by Kwame Brathwaite inspired them to put on a fashion show for classmates.
“When they first walked in and they saw the subjects with these big afros, big earrings, dashikis, they were fascinated with the fashions and the hairstyles. They said ‘they’re wearing their hair like we’re wearing it now!'” Piggott-Anderson said.
Nods to the past are everywhere on the grounds. The vision Katharine Smith Reynolds imagined for the property has changed since the early 1900s but her love of agriculture, design and education is still evident across 170 acres. She was just 24 years old when she began acquiring land. Her husband’s founding of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company funded the ventures.
Today, a grant from the Winston-Salem Foundation is ensuring visitors can continue making connections to the past. Planning is underway on its comprehensive master plan. Work on the upgrades is expected to begin in 2023.
The museum is also preparing for its next exhibit “Chrome Dreams and Infinite Reflections: American Photorealism.” Starting July 15, paintings created from photographs will be showcased. More information about the exhibit can be found here.
You can plan your visit to Historic Reynolda and purchase tickets to the museum on their website.