Blowing Rock Art and History Museum
The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum is located in downtown Blowing Rock right off of Main Street at 159 Chestnut Street. The museum hosts many different styles of artwork, from paintings, to sculpture, to mixed media and everything in between in revolving exhibits throughout the year.
The mission of the BRAHM, as the locals affectionately call it, is to promote visual arts and history and to celebrate the rich heritage of the mountains. Organized in 1999 in response to a generous offer of Elliot Daingerfield artwork it opened to the public in October 2011.
Admission for members is free, $9 for adults, $5 for children, students and active military members and free for children 4 and under. Groups of 10 or more may receive admission for $6 per person. Admission on Thursdays between 4 and 7pm is free. College students and military personnel must provide proper ID.
Hours: The BRAHM is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm On Thursdays, the museum is open from 10am to 5pm and is closed Sundays (during winter months) and Mondays, and most major holidays including New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The BRAHM is open on Sundays starting June 1.
Parking: Free parking is available in the parking deck adjacent to the BRAHM.
There’s No Business Like Snow Business (Jan. 24-May31): A look back at the development of the region’s ski industry and winter tourism through photographs, archival materials, equipment and gear, resort histories, personal recollections and other artifacts. The exhibition is located in the Historical Objects Gallery.
Barns and Quilts – A Rural Tradition (May 17-Sept. 28): More than 20 paintings of rural barns by noted American artist Wolf Kahn (on loan from the Jerald Melberg Gallery in Charlotte and from private collections) along with dozens of regional quilts representing the best of Appalachia will be on display throughout the season in the museum galleries. The exhibit opening reception will be held on May 16 from 6 to 7:30pm.
Hound Ears 50th Anniversary (June 1 through Sept. 30): An exhibit celebrating 50 years of Hound Ears. This exhibit is located in the Historical Objects Gallery.
Celebrating Strong Mountain Women (Sept. 6 through Jan. 3, 2015): Highlighting numerous women who made a significant impact to life in the High Country, this exhibit will celebrate and showcase their unique contributions to our region.
The Banner House
The Banner House, located in Banner Elk, showcases the 19th century history of life in Banner Elk and the High Country in the home of Samuel Henry Banner, one of Banner Elk's original settlers. In 2006 The Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation purchased and restored the home to its original condition and opened it to the public in 2007. The Banner House contains several of the Banner Family items, as well as period furnishings donated by area families, farm tools, hand stitched quilts, hand woven coverlets, vintage clothing, and original documents, photographs, paintings and more.
The Museum hosts daily guided tours mid-June through mid-October by volunteer docents who introduce you to life in the 1800's. They will teach you about the history, culture and development of the local community and surrounding areas. The Museum is also host to special events and cultural education.
The Appalachian Heritage Museum
The Appalachian Heritage Museum includes three museums that help to educate visitors about Appalachian heritage, Native American artifcats and more. The museums are included as part of admission to Mystery Hill and provide an exciting and educational activity for all ages.
The Appalachian Heritage Museum found its home at Mystery Hill in 1989. Originally located on the campus of Appalachian State University, it was formally known as Dougherty House and was one of the first buildings erected on the school grounds in 1903.
Once it arrived at Mystery Hill, the house was restored to its original status and renamed the Appalachian Heritage Museum. Housed within the museum are memories of life back in the 19th Century. Authentic antiques are seen throughout the house from sewing machines and household furnishings to books, ledgers and personal belongings. The museum reflects the lifestyle of the Appalachian ancestors.
The Native American Artifacts Museum: What began as a labor of love for R.E. Mullins and his wife, Irene, turned into a remarkable collection of more than 50,000 Native American artifacts. Started on the riverbanks of Georgia, the collection combines artifacts from 23 different states. Arrowheads, pottery, pipes and knives are just a few of the remarkable pieces housed in the collection.
The Hall of Mystery: See if you can figure out how water keeps running through the Spooky Spigot, or how your shadow lingers on a wall long after you are gone. Try to figure out the illusion of the Trapezoid and the Mirror that makes you look like you are flying, and after all that, have some fun in the bubble room where you can make a life-size bubble with your favorite person inside. There is always something exciting to do in the Hall of Mystery.
Admission: Mystery Hill is open year round, 7 days a week. June through August the hors are Monday through Sunday 9am to 8pm and September through May hours are Monday through Sunday 9am to 5pm.
Hours:Ticket prices are $9 for adults, $7 for children 5-12, $8 for adults over 60 years old and free for children 4 and under. Admission grants access to all Mystery Hill attractions including all of the museums.
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
The Turchin Center for the Visual arts is the largest facility of its kind in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia and supports Appalachian State University’s long-held mission of providing a home for world-class visual arts programming. The center is named for benefactors Robert and Lillian Turchin and features two wings of exhibition and support space. The unique museum is located on King Street in the heart of downtown Boone.
The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts features two wings, six galleries, two small outdoor sculpture gardens and sculptures across the Appalachian State University campus. The facility also houses a 135-seat lecture hall that hosts lectures and education programs.
The exhibitions in the Turchin Center focus on a blend of new and historically important artwork and feature works of nationally and internationally renowned artists and the finest artists of the region. The facility is a dynamic, living, breathing presence in the Appalachian community, creating many different opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the power and excitement of the visual arts.
Tours of the current exhibitions and the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition are available for free upon request and can be tailored to the needs of the group. Tours are available to individuals and groups of any size. Interested parties should schedule the guided tour at least two weeks prior to the date of the requested tour.
Parking on King Street and in downtown Boone public spaces is permitted within the posting limits. Parking validation is available at the front desk. Additional paid parking for longer visits is available one block west of the center at 567 West King Street. Appalachian State University offers paid visitor parking in the Rivers Street Parking Deck located at 461 Rivers Street, or visitor parking passes may be purchased from the Parking and Traffic offices in the Rivers Street deck.
Admission: Admission to the Turchin Center is free to everyone, but donations are greatly appreciated.
Hours: The gallery is closed on Sunday and Monday. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday the center is open from 10am to 6pm. On Fridays, the center is open from noon until 8pm.
The Avery County Historical Museum
The Avery County Historical Museum strives to collect, display and preserve vital information, photographs and artifacts about the people, events and places that make up Avery County and the surrounding areas. The museum provides information to those seeking to learn more about the rich history of the region, and is housed in the Old Avery County jail. The new research room at the museum offers hundreds of books and papers to assist researchers in the quest for family genealogies and more. Located just behind the museum is the old Linville Depot that was originally built when Avery County was only six years old. Today, the depot is operated by the museum and is undergoing restorations to turn the depot into a railway exhibit.