About Us

The Carnegie Center for Art and History is a local history museum and contemporary art gallery. The Center offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy art works in a variety of media and to learn more about the process of creative expression through a range of exhibitions and programs for all ages.

The Carnegie Center is host to an annual fiber exhibition Form, Not Function: Quilt Art At The Carnegie. This juried exhibition explores the world of contemporary art quilts and features the work of fiber artists from across the United States.

The Carnegie Center is also home to three permanent history exhibits. Grandpa Makes a Scene: The Yenawine Dioramas, is a favorite among visitors young and old alike. This collection of hand-carved, fully mechanized dioramas features creator Merle Yenawine’s recollection of growing up in the rural community of Georgetown, Indiana at the turn of the last century. Visitors can enjoy the intricately detailed and often humorous scenes of the town carnival, one-room schoolhouse and more.

The award-winning exhibit Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad is a multimedia experience of discovery that invites visitors to explore the people and places of antebellum New Albany and Louisville, Kentucky. Explore the actual lives of two groups of people living in this borderland between the North and the South: the enslaved fugitives whose yearning for freedom compelled them to escape on a long trek filled with danger at every turn and the helpers, both black and white, whose selfless acts of courage assisted those on the run. This exhibition provides a compelling and comprehensive examination of the Underground Railroad in New Albany and beyond.

The exhibit Remembered: the Life of Lucy Higgs Nichols details this remarkable woman's escape from slavery in 1862, and her service as a nurse with the 23rd Indiana Regiment during the Civil War, to her life in freedom in New Albany, Indiana as an admired citizen whose wartime service earned her a nurse’s pension by a Special Act of Congress in 1898.

A division of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, the Carnegie Center is also very family-oriented and offers its popular Family Fun Workshops on the second Saturday of every month. Adults and children work together to complete an art activity related to the current exhibit or holiday at this free, drop-in workshop. The Carnegie Center offers educational opportunities for all ages with regular talks and programs for adults, including the Lunch & Learn brown bag lunch series on the third Tuesday of every month.

Hours & Directions

The Carnegie Center for Art and History is housed in the historic and fully accessible Carnegie Library building at 201 E. Spring Street in downtown New Albany. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is always free. For more information, call 812-944-7336.

To schedule a tour, please contact Karen Gillenwater, Curator, at kgillenwater@carnegiecenter.org.

Hours
Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am - 5:30pm

Directions


10 Things You Might Not Know About Our Carnegie Library Building

  1. The building served as New Albany’s Carnegie Library from 1904-1969 and was built with grant funds from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation.


  2. Indiana is home to more Carnegie Libraries than any other state.


  3. Before the New Albany Library moved into its new home in 1904, it had been located in several places in the downtown area, including the old Masonic building where the Elsby building currently stands.


  4. While the Library was located in the old Masonic building, it also housed a Museum of Natural History, displaying fishes and reptiles preserved in alcohol, Indian relics, fossils and geological specimens.


  5. Arthur Loomis (of Clarke and Loomis, the architecture firm contracted for this building) was also the architect for the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, constructed in 1925.


  6. The New Albany Library outgrew this building and moved to its current location at 180 West Spring Street in 1969.


  7. The Floyd County Museum opened in the building in 1971. The museum was organized by a group of citizens who were concerned about the fate of this building once the library moved out.


  8. In 1988, the Floyd County Museum became a department of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library and continues this relationship to this day.


  9. Community Corrections of New Albany maintained an office in the lower level of the Floyd County Museum for several years and countless community service workers, ranging from plumbers and electricians to graphic designers and masonry workers, performed maintenance and upgrades to the Museum.


  10. The museum was closed for most of 1998 for a $1 million renovation and reopened to the public in 1999 under the new name Carnegie Center for Art and History, a name that better reflected the programming we offer and our heritage as a Carnegie Library building.