On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I'm excited about the strategic plan that evolved over a year of discussions with staff, board, and the community. The plan describes our guiding principles, our purpose, and our expected growth in ten years. So please visit us soon and often; there is much to see and do. You will discover that regardless of background or age, the Columbia Museum of Art is a museum for all.  

Allen Coles, President
Board of Trustees

From the Strategic Plan


The Columbia Museum of Art sparks powerful connections through art from around the corner and around the world in an environment that is welcoming to all. 


As a premier art museum in the Southeast and vibrant community hub of the Midlands, the CMA will engage 800,000 participants per year with a sustained annual membership of 8,000 households by 2030.

Core Values

  • Inspiring
  • Welcoming
  • Community-Centered  
  • Vibrant

The CMA is committed to the concept of the 21st-century museum. We believe in being inclusive and participatory. We believe that art is meant to be experienced, not just seen.

Your museum is a place brimming with activity and new ideas.

Mission and Promises


  • Internationally renowned collection
  • Traveling shows and only-at-CMA exhibitions
  • Interactive Cross Hatch activity space
  • Weekly, monthly, and annual events for all ages
  • Art that spans 5,000 years of global history in 26 galleries


  • National Medal for Museum and Library Service
  • Two Governor's Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina
  • National Art Education Association award
  • National Park Foundation Award


  • American Alliance of Museums
  • Southeastern Museums Conference
  • South Carolina Arts Alliance
  • South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations

The Collection

In addition to our rotating exhibitions, the CMA has a fantastically diverse permanent collection of art. In fact, we have one of the largest and most impressive international collections in the southeast, including many Renaissance and Baroque pieces. We organize our collection by theme, so that visitors can explore thematically similar pieces from across many eras. We think this creates a richer experience for our guests, who enjoy seeing how an idea like "Vice and Virtue" is explored in different ways over the years.

View of the Seine by French Impressionist Claude Monet


The Columbia Museum of Art received a Bridge Grant from South Carolina Humanities, www.schumanities.org. Funding for the Bridge Grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.

SC Humanities

National Endowment for the Humanities