Bob Jones University is a private, Christian liberal arts institution in Greenville, South Carolina. The university owns a collection of western religious art that is showcased in its museum and gallery. The art reflects universal and spiritual truths that are Biblically based. The museum and gallery has two locations in town. The main site is on the university campus, located at 1700 Wade Hampton Blvd. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday from 2-5pm, and parking is free. A satellite facility is located at Heritage Green, on Buncombe St. in downtown Greenville. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sunday from 2-5pm. Parking is available in the garage behind Hughes Library.
The collection of sacred art was begun in the late 1940s by Dr. Robert R. Jones, Jr. The primary focus of the collection is European Old Masters paintings. The works are arranged into galleries which span the 14th through the 19th centuries. The Italian Baroque Renaissance Gallery includes works by Botticelli, Granacci, Tintoretto, and Veronese. The Italian Gothic Gallery features religious paintings dating to the 15th century. The Northern Renaissance Gallery has works by Dutch, Belgian, and German artists including Peter Paul Reubens and Van Dyke. Other galleries include the French Baroque Gallery, the 16th and 17th Century Spanish Gallery, and the smaller 18th and 19th Century Gallery.
The museum has three other noteworthy collections to see. The Russian Icon Collection includes five icons that once belonged to the Romanoff family, the last of the Russian Tsars. The Bowen Collection of Antiquities has artifacts dating from Biblical times. There are items from other civilizations that influenced the Holy Land, including almost 200 articles from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Syria. There is a Jewish Torah from the 15th century. War Memorial Chapel at Bob Jones University has seven large paintings from the Benjamin West series, The Progress of Revealed Religion. These paintings were originally commissioned for King George III of England for a private chapel.
The satellite facility at Heritage Green rotates special exhibits from the Bob Jones University art collection as well as exhibits on loan from other museums and private collections. The 2nd floor features interactive learning centers that are child friendly. There are scavenger hunts designed for children ages 5-12 that take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete. The hunts will acquaint children with the collection in an entertaining way. Scavenger hunts for older children and adults will help them identify many signs and symbols used in religious artwork.
The current special exhibition at the Heritage Green facility is Rublev to Faberge: The Journey of Russian Art and Culture to America. Visitors will be introduced to Russias cultural heritage, discover the history of icons, and view Faberges beautiful workmanship. Admission to Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for students. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free.