Mission + History
Focused on Art
Centered in Community
Committed to Inspire
The Currier Museum of Art connects art with diverse audiences, from its neighborhood to international and digital visitors, and embraces regional new museum-goers and under-served communities. We facilitate conversations and experiences around art. The Currier Museum aims to be nimble and creative in using its distinctive collection of historical and contemporary art. We connect the art of the past with art of the future through an artist-in-residence program based in our community. The museum teaches art as a way to understand the creative process in all fields – a traditional practice in American museums which we continue to believe is vital to our role.
The Currier Museum embraces difference and multiple points of view – in its collection and exhibitions, its audience, and its staff and governance. The museum is dedicated to the social needs of its community though programs serving people with memory loss, families of those with substance-use disorder, those with physical and cognitive challenges, and military veterans.
Moody Currier and his wife Hannah Slade conceived the idea of founding an art museum in in the 1890s. A former governor of the state, Moody died in 1898, and Hannah in 1915. Their estate and house formed the basis of the Currier Gallery of Art, which was chartered by the state legislature in 1919. The museum building opened in October 1929, a few days before the great stock market crash ushered in the Great Depression. The museum’s community art school started in 1939. In 1982, new galleries designed by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer opened. A new atrium and special exhibition galleries by Ann Beha were completed in 2008.
In the 1950s, Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes for two local doctors in Manchester. The Zimmerman House was bequeathed to the museum in 1988, while the Kalil House was purchased by the museum in 2019.