Franklin G. Burroughs - Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - Atlas Obscura

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Franklin G. Burroughs - Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum

This Myrtle Beach art museum features a rotating display of pieces by artists from James Audubon to Frank Lloyd Wright, but it’s their collection of Southern works that truly impresses.  


When it comes to artistic mediums, Myrtle Beach’s Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum doesn’t discriminate. The city’s only visual art museum features everything from textiles to photography, sculpture to video, and ceramics to paintings. Or, as its website puts it, “almost anything the artistic imagination can construct.” Since opening its doors in June 1997, the museum has featured works by such legendary artists as Ansel Adams, Norman Rockwell, and the Gee’s Bend Quilting Collective. Its 11 galleries change throughout the year, and the space hosts between 10 and 12 exhibits annually. Although there are no permanent exhibits on display, the museum does maintain four distinct collections. 

These include an assemblage of antique maps and historical prints, a grouping of gifts and purchases that the museum has acquired over the years, and the Burgess-Dinkelspiel Collection of Southern Art. This latter compilation consists of 53 pieces of paintings, pastels, photographs, prints, lithographs, sculpture, and collage donated by former Bostonians Barbara Burgess and John Dinkelspiel. The husband-and-wife team eventually resettled in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, where they fell in love with the region’s art and culture. Their collection features works by noted African-American artists James Denmark and Cassandra Gillens, as well as 21 pieces by South Carolinian Jonathan Green, a contemporary painter of the Southern experience. 

Green is an African-American who grew up in the state’s Gullah communities, made up of descendants of enslaved Africans who settled along the coast between North Carolina and Florida in the 19th century. Many of his works depict the Gullah culture and the artist’s deep Lowcountry roots. The artist utilizes rich, vibrant colors to convey his works, and his subjects are often faceless.

Know Before You Go

The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum offers free admission to the public, although talks, events, and classes (the museum has an onsite pottery studio that hosts six-week sessions) may cost extra. There’s also a museum shop that sells prints, puzzles, art supplies, and other creative gifts. 

Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.. It’s currently closed on Mondays, as well as major holidays. 

There’s free accessible parking onsite, and a free wheelchair available that can be reserved in advance. The museum also has an elevator. Service animals are permitted, as long as they’re controlled on-leash. 

The museum’s enclosed Carolyn Burroughs Tea Porch offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, which is within an easy walking distance. 

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