History of BRAHM

blowing rock art and history museumWhen the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) opened its doors to the public on October 1, 2011, it was the culmination of more than a decade of effort put forth by a dedicated group of supporters determined to make the project a success. The Museum was organized in 1999 in response to a local art collector’s desire to find a permanent home for his collection of work by North Carolina native and seasonal Blowing Rock resident Elliott Daingerfield, who was a significant figure in the American art scene at the turn of the 20th century.

From there, the founding group set out to raise funds and develop plans for a permanent structure. In 2001, the organization received its non-profit status and elected a governing Board of Trustees, led by Welborn Alexander, who has continued to lead BRAHM through the planning and construction process.

In the spring of 2003, then-Membership Committee chair Joann Mitchell (now the executive director) organized BRAHM’s first membership mailing, very unsure of what to expect. The response was overwhelming.

“Almost overnight we had 350 members,” Mitchell said. “We were astounded. It confirmed for us what we had thought all along, that we were building a Museum that was both wanted and needed in Blowing Rock.”

After a lengthy search for a place to locate the Museum, the Town of Blowing Rock agreed in August 2003 to offer BRAHM a long-term lease on a portion of the Edgewood Cottage property, where Daingerfield built his first home in town. In 2005, Mitchell was named the director and began the process of selecting an architectural and construction firms for the building. At long last, ground was broken on the site in September 2009, with Boone Construction Company set to implement the design provided by Callaway, Johnson, Moore and West out of Winston-Salem.

While planning for the Museum’s physical structure, organizers saw no reason to wait to offer cultural programs for the community. Between 2002 and 2011, BRAHM sponsored a number of programs and fundraising events that were well received and widely attended (see timeline) while working to complete the capital campaign and build a strong membership base, which would over the years grow to more than 600.

“We have always been encouraged by the number of members who have year after year supported a Museum that wasn’t even built yet,” Mitchell said. “We never would have made it this far without our core supporters, who have stayed with us through the end. Now they get to enjoy the fruits of all of our labor.”

For more about BRAHM, click {here} for a Museum fact sheet.




Blowing Rock Art and History Museum | 159 Chestnut Street | Blowing Rock, NC | 828.295.9099 | Email Us | Sign Up for Enews