Reynolda House Museum of American Art is a MUST if you find yourself with a couple of free hours in Winston-Salem. And it’s not just me, even a little ol’ paper called The New York Times agrees – a couple of years back they did a great 36 Hours in Winston-Salem Travel Guide which included the Reynolda House.
FACT: Reynolda House . . . displays a premier collection of American art ranging from the colonial period to the present. Built in 1917 by Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the house originally occupied the center of a 1,067-acre estate. It opened to the public as an institution dedicated to the arts and education in 1965, and as an art museum in 1967.
As a recent transplant back to North Carolina from D.C., missing my regular Portrait Gallery visits, it was a great way to get my American Art fix and indulge the inner history nerd with the play-by-play explanations detailing architectural design, furnishings, memories of family members and friends, and famous guests (hello President Harry Truman!) via an individual audio guide (included with admission) as I moved through the rooms of Reynolda’s four floors. My personal favorite was the basement that included it’s own speakeasy, pool, shooting gallery, bowling alley, and more. After exploring the home, you can take a stroll through the gardens and the Reynolda Village Shops. The house and museum are also senior and handicap friendly with elevator accessibility, smooth walkways from the parking lot, and wheelchairs available for check out at reception.
Want even more background on the life of Katherine Smith Reynold’s and her vision for Reynolda House? Check out this great piece in Our State.