Atlanta’s Hammonds House Museum

Daisy Ratnasari

The Hammonds House Museum is an Atlanta fine arts museum that showcases the work of artists of African descent. Its mission is to provide opportunities to appreciate the contributions that artists of African descent make to world culture. The museum gallery displays a variety of works in different mediums. The museum’s cultural programs include lectures, workshops, demonstrations, and other special events in the visual and related arts. Exhibitions showcasing a variety of artists are scheduled throughout the year.

Hammonds House is a Victorian home built in 1872 in the historic West End neighborhood of Atlanta. The home was the residence of the late Dr. Otis T. Hammonds, a prominent Atlanta physician. Dr. Hammonds was an avid patron of the arts who collected more than 250 works of art, primarily by African American artists. The house was acquired by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners in 1986, along with the artwork and antique furnishings dating to the 19th century.

The art collection includes works by national artists such as Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Richard Hunt, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, and Hale Woodruff. Local artists are represented with works by Radcliffe Bailey, Tina Dunkley, Jenelse Holloway, and John Riddle. International pieces include African sculptures and masks, as well as Haitian paintings.

Hammonds House Museum presents five to six special exhibitions each year. The museum currently has an exhibition of contemporary African art. The exhibition has been very popular and was held over from its original closing date in January. “Contemporary Artists of Africa Here and Abroad” celebrates the cultural connection and influence that African art has had in the Atlanta community. The exhibition features artists from several African countries who now make Atlanta their home. These artists have come from Somalia, Nigeria, Sierra Leon, Liberia, Ghana, and Ethiopia. Their works include paintings, sculpture, pastels, and ink drawings. The exhibition also includes contemporary works that are part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Hammonds House Museum has an artist in residence program for emerging artists, an educational program, and a resource center containing books, slides, films, and a computer data base of artist’s histories. The resource center is open by appointment. Children’s programs include hands on workshops, holiday activities, and art camps. Hammonds House Museum is located at 503 Peeples Street SW in Atlanta. The museum hours are Tuesday-Friday from 10am-6pm and Saturday- Sunday from 1-5pm. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for seniors, students, and children.

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