Visit Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta Georgia - Completed in 1818 for an exorbitant $40,000,
the Nicolas Ware House, Ware's Folly, is an architectural showplace in Augusta.
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art History
Nicholas Ware, mayor of Augusta Georgia and United States senator, built this grand Federal-style house which now is the home of the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art.
Founded in 1937 and housed in Ware's Folly (ca. 1818) and the Walker-Mackenzie Studio (ca. 1907), the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art serves as the Central Savannah River Area's only independent non-profit visual art school and gallery. The Institute offers visual art education opportunities for students of all ages and interests. Quarterly studio classes and workshops are available in a wide range of media, from drawing and painting to photography, weaving, clay, and sculpture.
The house has a simple 4 room, center hall plan with four end chimneys and a handsome portico, bays, and oval stairway. The home's fluted pilasters, elegant bay windows, and three-story elliptical staircase were attractions to visitors when it was built and still enthrall tourists today.
Ware’s Folly served as the elite town home for three important Augusta families of the 19th century. The house belonged to the Nicholas Ware family from 1818 to 1828. The James Gardner family, elite Augusta Georgia merchants and professionals, occupied the house from 1830 until 1871. William C. Sibley, an Augusta Georgia cotton-mill owner, lived there with his family from 1871 to 1909.
Ware's Folly became home to the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in 1937 through the generosity of Mrs. Olivia A. Herbert. A wealthy New Yorker who often wintered in Augusta, Mrs. Herbert purchased and renovated the mansion to provide a permanent home for the Augusta Art Club as well as a living memorial to her daughter, Gertrude Herbert Dunn, soon after her death.
The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, founded in 1937 and housed in Ware's Folly with the Walker-Mackenzie Studio (c. 1907), is the Central Savannah River area's only independent nonprofit visual art school and gallery. The institute offers visual art education opportunities for students of all ages and interests. Quarterly studio classes and workshops are available in a wide range of media, from drawing and painting to photography, weaving, clay, and sculpture.
The Gertrude Herbert Art Institute is located within the boundaries of the Augusta Downtown Historic District. It is open Tuesday–Friday, 10 am to 5 pm. Guided tours by appointment only. Call 706-722-5495 for tour appointment. The building has been documented under the name Ware-Sibley-Clarke House by the National Park Service's Historic Americans Buildings Survey.
The Gertrude Herbert also takes arts education "on the road" through extensive outreach programming. Our award-winning after-school ArtVentures program provides visual art instruction to more than 3,000 elementary school students annually. Since 1993 we’ve provided an Artist-in-Residence for students at an inner-city school, currently Hornsby Elementary.
In addition, the Gertrude Herbert serves as a showcase for local and regional artists, hosting at least six major exhibits of contemporary art in its Main Gallery each year. Rotating student exhibits feature works by school children from all over the Augusta Georgia area. Gallery hours are 10 am – 5 pm Tues – Fri and Sat by appointment only (24 hours advance notice requested). Admission is free and donations are encouraged.
For more information on the Gertrude Herbert and its programming, please visit the remaining pages of their website.
Built in 1818 for the exorbitant sum of $40,000, Ware's Folly was an architectural first for Augusta Georgia. This grand Federal-style house was built under the strict direction of Nicholas Ware, mayor of Augusta and U.S. Senator. The home's fluted pilasters, three-story elliptical staircase, and elegant bay windows served as tourist attractions then, and still enthrall visitors today.
Ware's Folly became home to the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in 1937 through the generosity of Mrs. Olivia A. Herbert. A wealthy New Yorker who often wintered in Augusta, Mrs. Herbert purchased and renovated the mansion to provide a permanent home for the Augusta Art Club as well as a living memorial to her daughter, Gertrude Herbert Dunn, who had recently died.
Today major exhibitions of local and regional artists hang in the Institute's Main Gallery, while displays of art by area school children fills the first- and third-floor hallways. Exhibits typically rotate every six to eight weeks, offering visitors something new to see almost every time they stop by.
Take time to explore this historic home and living landmark today. Ware’s Folly and its galleries are open to the public Tuesday – Friday from 10 am – 5 pm and Saturday by appointment only (24 hours advance notice requested). Admission is free!
Our Education Department is always delighted to arrange guided tours for schools and other interested groups; please call two weeks in advance to schedule a time for your visit. If you are interested in volunteering as a docent, please click here for more details on our tour program.
To receive further information, or to schedule a tour date, call us at 706-722-5495.
Classes - September through December
The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art is pleased to offer a variety of visual arts classes this quarter for students of all ages. Classes and workshops are offered on weekdays, evenings, and weekends to accommodate busy family and professional schedules. Designed with both the seasoned artist and the interested amateur in mind, our educational programs provide opportunities for learners at every level.
Our complete listing of current classes and workshops is grouped by age level and program type. Adult offerings include drawing, painting, photography, pottery, weaving and sculpture, as well as workshops on a variety of topics.
Programs for children from toddlers to teens are also available, including youth classes in drawing, painting and pottery, sculpture, and other media. Special workshops are also available. Our Saturday family workshops provide a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to explore the visual arts together.
To receive a newsletter with additional information on classes, workshops, and other programs and events, please contact our office or call (706)722-5495.
Good things really do come in small packages! The Gertrude Herbert offers a wide range of one- and two-day workshops for everyone from toddlers to senior citizens. Special workshops for adults and youngsters enable students to acquire a new skill or create a unique art project in just a few hours time. Our very popular family workshops allow parents and children to spend quality time together while collaborating on seasonal art activities that all will enjoy. No matter how tight your schedule, we've got just the class for you!
Contact and Address
Phone: 706-722-5495 - Location: 506 Telfair Street, Augusta Georgia 30901