Behind the Scenes Tours


One-Hour Behind the Scenes Tours

Twice a day we offer exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of MESDA’s iconic study galleries.  These tours with a knowledgeable guide encompass all media and all three Southern regions.  Behind-the-scenes tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. or by advance appointment.  On Sunday behind-the-scenes tours of the study galleries are offered at 2:00 p.m. or by advance appointment.  Tours sell out, so reservations are advisable and can be made by calling  by calling 336-721-7369.

Adults • $20
Friends of MESDA • $15
Frank L. Horton Society Members • FREE

Friday Expert-Led Behind the Scenes Tours

Most Fridays we replace the 2:00 p.m. tour with a special expert-led tour focused on a particular aspect of MESDA’s unparalleled collection.  These tours often sell out, so reservations are advisable and can be made by calling by calling 336-721-7369.

Adults • $20
Friends of MESDA • $15
Frank L. Horton Society Members • FREE

February  3 at 2:00 p.m.
A Hidden Legacy: The African American Influence in Southern Art
Daniel Ackermann, Curator of the MESDA Collection

February 10 at 2:00 p.m.
A Hidden Legacy: The African American Influence in Southern Art
Daniel Ackermann, Curator of the MESDA Collection

February 17 at 2:00 p.m.
A Hidden Legacy: The African American Influence in Southern Art
Jane Sutton, Manager of Museum Interpretation

February 24 at 2:00 p.m.
A Hidden Legacy: The African American Influence in Southern Art
Jane Sutton, Manager of Museum Interpretation

March 3 at 2:00 p.m.
A Penny For Your Thoughts?  Coins and Currency in the Early South
Daniel Ackermann, Curator of the MESDA Collection

March 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Finding Your Roots: Doing Genealogy in the Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Library
Michelle Doyle, Librarian

March 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Threads of Faith: Needlework from Southern Religious Schools
Jenny Garwood, Administrative and Curatorial Associate

March 31  at 2:00 p.m.
The Mystery Continues: The Guilford Limner
Sally Gant, MESDA Director of Education Emeritus

April 7  at 2:00 p.m.
Our Spirited Ancestors: The Art of Drink
Daniel Ackermann, MESDA Curator

April 14  at 2:00 p.m.
New Paintings in the MESDA Collection
Catherine Carlisle, Paintings Scholar and MESDA Development Officer

April 21  at 2:00 p.m.
Hidden in Plain Sight: Hidden Compartments at MESDA
Jane Sutton, Manager of Museum Interpretation

April 28  at 2:00 p.m.
Paint and Wallpaper in the Early South
Daniel Ackermann, MESDA Curator

May 12  at 2:00 p.m.
George Washington at MESDA
Helen Vasudevan, MESDA Guide

May 19  at 2:00 p.m.
Needlework From the Salem Girls School
Becky Minnix, MESDA Guide

Special Focus Tours

The following tours are offered during regular museum hours with an advance appointment.

A Hidden Legacy: The African American Influence in Southern Decorative Arts

Focused on the African American stories behind some of MESDA’s most iconic objects, this tour includes works by North Carolina cabinetmaker Thomas Day; the Edgefield, South Carolina, potter David Drake,; and the Baltimore, Maryland, painter Joshua Johnson.

This tour is offered during regular museum hours with an advance appointment by calling 336-721-7369 at least one week prior to your visit.

Adults • $20
Friends of MESDA • $15
Frank L. Horton Society Members • FREE

It’s a Woman’s World: Exploring Women’s Lives through the Decorative Arts

Explore the reality of women’s everyday lives through a tour of iconic objects in the MESDA collection, such as a quilt by Peggy Wynans of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina;  a sampler by the young Quaker schoolgirl Ann Ricks of Southampton County, Virginia; and a crock made and signed by the early Shenandoah Valley potter Mary Adams.

This tour is offered during regular museum hours with an advance appointment by calling 336-721-7369 at least one week prior to your visit.

Adults • $20
Friends of MESDA • $15
Frank L. Horton Society Members • FREE