In the mid-1960s, the university began acquiring artworks to enliven and enhance its campus. Not long after a professional curator was hired to care for and keep track of these, that initial goal shifted to creating temporary exhibitions while focusing primarily on collecting objects that could be used for teaching and research. By the early 1970s, the growing art collection was being administered under the aegis of an office called the Visual Arts Center. In 1992, the VAC moved into a newly-built wing on Talley Student Center housing two galleries, offices for several staff, and collections storage rooms. Designated the Gallery of Art & Design in 1998, its programs and holdings continued to develop at a tremendous rate. Today the permanent collection includes more than 34,000 objects.
The unit was renamed once more in 2007 as the Gregg Museum of Art & Design, in honor of John N. and Nancy C. Gregg. In 2010, the chancellor’s former residence (near the Memorial Bell Tower on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh) was approved as a new permanent site for the institution. The renovated historic home, along with a contemporary 15,000 square foot galleries and educational wing being built next to it, will reopen as the new Gregg Museum in late 2016 or early 2017.
- Currently six professional staff (five full time, one part time)
- 10-12 student interns each year
Until the new facility on Hillsborough Street opens, the Gregg offices and collections continue to be housed in a temporary space located near J. C. Raulston Arboretum, at 516 Brickhaven Dr, Suite 200, Raleigh.
- Exhibitions – The Gregg typically organizes 6-8 exhibitions a year, which generally reflect its collecting strengths in textiles, ceramics, photography, decorative arts, outsider/folk art, contemporary art, and ethnographic art.
- Educational Programming includes lectures, films, tours, workshops, symposia and demonstrations. These are held regularly to augment the current exhibitions and highlight work from the Gregg’s permanent collection, and for general cultural enhancement.
- Class Visits and Group Tours – Classes and individuals from NC State as well as other colleges, universities, high schools, retirement communities, interest groups and professional organizations often visit Gregg exhibitions and explore its permanent collections. The Gregg Museum freely welcomes all visitors, researchers and art appreciators.
- Student Internships are available for course credit each semester. Students learn skills like cataloging, exhibition design, gallery installation, digital photography, exhibition graphics, marketing, and object handling, while helping staff run the museum.