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Plans announced for future of William King Museum of Art

April 15th, 2014 8:34 am by Entertainment Staff

Plans announced for future of William King Museum of Art

After four years, the search for a permanent location for the William King Museum has ended right back where it began.

Museum officials announced earlier this month that the museum will remain in its current location at 415 Academy Drive in Abingdon, Va.

"After exhaustive studies and significant time spent looking at various locations, we have recently turned our focus back to where we began," said Executive Director Marcy Miller. "When we looked inside, we found that we have everything we need to fulfill our mission right here: a handsome historic building, beautiful property that houses a sculpture garden, magnificent views of Abingdon and White Top Mountain, and the space to house five galleries, plus artist studios and classrooms. The current building is over 100 years old and was originally a school when namesake William King left the land to Abingdon Male Academy."

With the decision made to remain in its current location, the museum soon will begin major renovations. Marcia and Marvin Gilliam have pledged $500,000 to help the museum get started.

"We are making this contribution to show our support of the arts and art education in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee and hope that many others will step forward and help this museum fulfill its mission for many years to come," Marvin Gilliam said.

Future projects include restoring the exterior of the building, improving access and parking, landscaping and restoring sculpture garden trails, and developing new outreach programs that will extend to additional communities.

While its location will remain the same, the museum is getting a new name.

"Our Board of Trustees has decided to change our name from William King Museum to William King Museum of Art because that is what we are — an art museum," Miller said.

William King currently houses five galleries that rotate exhibitions of world fine art, cultural heritage artifacts, regional contemporary artists, self-curated exhibitions by local artists and student exhibitions.

Officials also announced that the museum will be eliminating admission prices.

"We want to welcome you to the museum and have you visit us often. Come to be inspired, come to explore, to learn, or just come to relax and unwind," Miller said.

For more information on the William King Museum of Art, including a listing of all current exhibitions and classes being offered, call (276) 628-5005 or visit

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