Surrounded by draping live oaks and English ivy, and boasting over 15,000 square feet of gallery space, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi, has something to interest every visiting group.
“The museum offers a variety of collections that offer a little of something for everyone: Native American baskets, American and European paintings, Japanese prints, and British Georgian silver,” said George Bassi, executive director. “This variety works especially well for tour groups whose participants can always find something of interest.”
Guided tours of both the museum’s permanent collection and temporary and traveling exhibitions are offered and can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of each group.
“We also have the ability to add a walking tour of the historic district and a step-on guide that can take a bus or large group for a driving tour of the historic district and downtown,” Bassi said.
The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art was Mississippi’s first art museum, and it was founded in 1923 in memory of Lauren Eastman Rogers, the only son and grandson of two of Laurel’s founding families. Lauren died at the age of 23 in 1921 from appendicitis complications, just months after he married Leila Hodson Rogers. The museum opened in May of 1923 in a building that was originally being constructed to be Lauren and Leila’s home.
“The history of Laurel and the neighborhood around the museum provides a beautiful setting for the institution,” Bassi said. “The local architecture, the tree-lined avenues and history of the timber era set the stage for an incredible and unique museum experience. Of course, we like to say that the museum building itself is a work of art — and it is. From cork floors to quarter-sawn oak paneling to amazing ironwork, the museum is an architectural gem.”
Bassi suggests groups book their visits at least two weeks in advance to secure a docent.
For more information, call 601-649-6374 or visit lrma.org.