Looking for Something to do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina?
Where i recommend Visiting while in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I enjoy art. Appreciating and creating art for me is akin to a child entering a very large candy store. The colors, shapes, and sizes are often so impressive. When a museum or exhibition showcasing many different forms of art is available, I try to seize the opportunity.
Ackland Art Museum was a recommendation. Not from the area, I asked someone very familiar with the territory—attended UNC Chapel Hill, and still lives nearby—where they would recommend visiting while in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Online (click link to be directed to Ackland’s Collections page) states 17,000 works of art are included in the museum’s collection.
Admittedly, finding parking space was difficult. Chapel Hill is a college town for any of you unfamiliar with UNC Chapel Hill. Within the college campus are many lovely places: Ackland Art Museum, Chapel of the Cross (Episcopal Church), Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, multiple libraries, etc. But parking is frequently a bear, which is not uncommon for college towns. After circling the museum twice (very easy to spot given it’s external look—stickwork sculptures by Patrick Dougherty), finally phoned Ackland to ask where one could park, and found an area nearby.
Recently they celebrated a sixtieth anniversary.
Visit Ackland Art Museum
The museum is not very large in size, though there are two floors and many rooms. Admission is free. Honestly, I was not expecting some of the work: Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch, Japanese pottery, European masterworks, African art, etc. After browsing, Ackland is a gem.
Since this was within a college campus, while upstairs looking at photographs (mostly monochrome), a class was in progress. According to this review, the second floor is generally for use by University classes. I do remember asking for permission to go upstairs, and staff said it would be fine.
While downstairs (main floor), a group of children (possibly a field trip?) were asked questions about a few select European pieces of work. Ackland has a layout of many areas on the main floor—if a large group is present in a particular location, you can be removed from them in another. Ackland Art Museum is closely connected to the community, especially in the educational sector, reaching beyond college classes, which did not diminish the experience.
If you are traveling to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, would definitely recommend taking the time (give yourself at least an hour or two) to view the collections. It will be worth it. As an aside, all staff I came into contact with were most kind.