The Arthur Rose Museum

The Arthur Rose Museum located on the campus of Claflin University represents the history of the Historically Black University. Originally the home to the university’s first library, the museum, which is named after university alumnus and artist Arthur Rose, features many art exhibits and hosts many art events. The building was designed by Claflin alumnus William Cooke and built by Claflin University students in the 1890s

Claflin University is a staple in the Orangeburg community. Its rich history is evident by its many buildings that represent the foundation of the school, many of them named after distinguished alumni.

The Arthur Rose Museum is one of those historic buildings.

The building originally was erected as the university’s library in 1898 and named after Mrs. Priscilla Lee Bennett whose funds were responsible for its construction.

Claflin alumnus William Wilson Cooke is the architect of the library. While serving as a professor at the university, Cooke drew the plans for the library, and supervised his students as they executed his Victorian style architecture plans.

The campus library was relocated to another building, and the building became home the institution’s art department, which was chaired by Claflin Alumnus Arthur Rose.

The art department was relocated to Layman Hall, and the building was converted to a museum, a decision made by the university’s board of trustees.

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The museum was named after Rose in 1999.

Renovations were made to the building, including the installation of hardwood floors, and improvements to the building’s pressed metal ceiling.

Most recently, renovations were made to the museum’s exterior, as well as improvements in landscaping surrounding the building.

The museum is home to many art exhibits, featuring the work of many world-renowned artists.

Receptions and even student art showcases are held at the museum.

Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum is open to the public with free admission.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516


Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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