Historic Markers Across Georgia

The Columbus Museum

Marker ID:  
Location: 1251 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA
County: Muscogee
Coordinates: N 32° 28.004    W 084° 58.433
  32.46673333    -84.97388333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


The Columbus Museum

The Columbus Museum traces its history back to the efforts in the 1920s of several local citizens and civic groups to raise awareness of the need for a museum in the city. Formal efforts at establishing the Museum got underway in 1940, culminating with the opening of the institution in 1953. In 1972, it became among the first museums to be accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Today, it is one of the largest museums in the Southeast and a vital part of the cultural life of Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley.

The Museum has supported a dual mission focusing on both American art and regional culture since its inception. It has developed outstanding art and historical collections; staged hundreds of special exhibitions; produced numerous publications; and offered a wide variety of educational programs in its effort to enrich the lives of all. The Museum has been involved with numerous archaeological and public history projects throughout the region and has served as a key partner in many community-development initiatives.

Throughout its existence, the Museum has served as a gathering spot for those interested in learning about regional culture and art. It has partnered with the Muscogee County School District to serve thousands of school children as a center for cultural education.

Originally housed in the former home of businessman W.C. Bradley, the Museum has undergone several expansions over the years. The most recent, which brought the total interior floor space to almost 90,000 square feet, was designed to complement the historic home’s Mediterranean Revival architecture.

Euphan Collier Stewart helped stage some of the earliest major art exhibitions in Columbus and was a driving force in creating initial interest for a museum in the 1920s. Her sister Georgia Collier Comer left a bequest in her memory that played a critical role in funding the Museum.

Columbus native and accomplished artist Edward Swift Shorter headed organized efforts to create a museum for over a decade. Recognized as the inspiration behind the creation of the Museum, he served as its first director and maintained a close connection to the institution after his retirement.


The Columbus Museum, ca. 1970

Euphan Collier Stewart

Edward Swift Shorter
Grand opening of new Museum wing, 1963

Opening of Museum's Indian Gallery, 1957
Transformations Gallery

A photo of this marker can be found on HMDB.org