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Volume 26, Number 2 — February 2019

William King announces name change, future plans

William King Museum is changing its name to William King Museum of Art.
William King Museum is changing its name to William King Museum of Art.

April 07, 2014

William King Museum of Art in Abingdon, Va., announced plans for the future, including a name change, a definitive location for the museum, and the elimination of admission fees.

"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," said Executive Director Marcy Miller.

WKMA 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.

In the past four years, many different avenues for the future location of the museum have been explored. Officials announced that the museum will remain where it has been since the doors were opened.

"After exhaustive studies and significant time spent looking at various locations, we have recently turned our focus back to where we began. 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," said Miller. The current building is over 100 years old and was originally a school when namesake William King left the land to Abingdon Male Academy.

Miller 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.

With the decision to remain in the current location, WKMA will soon begin major renovations. Marcia and Marvin Gilliam have pledged $500,000 to help the museum take the first steps in the planned renovations

"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," said Marvin Gilliam.

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

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

A! ExtraTopics: Achievements, Art