Gregg Museum of art & design

The Gregg Museum has moved!

The Gregg Museum has moved to a temporary swing space. In our transition, we will have exhibitions on display in other galleries across Raleigh. Read below to find out where each exhibition will be. For more information about the Gregg Museum of Art & Design please call us at (919) 515-3503 or e-mail us at For more information about the move, please click here.




September 25, 2014 – February 6, 2015 
SMOKES AND MIRRORS: Reflections of the Self in Photographs by John Menapace

1903 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh. Click to see a map of 1903 Hillsborough Street and parking nearby. Guest-curated by Belén Morata and Sammy Kirby. OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, Monday - Friday 9am-5pm; call 919-513-7244 or 919-515-3503 or email Zoe Starling.


In 1955, 28-year-old John Menapace decided to quit his job at Oxford University Press and head off to Mexico on a motorcycle. He bought a second-hand camera to record the trip. Somehow the plan fell through, but the camera opened up a whole new way of seeing. By the time he moved to Durham, NC, the following year to work for Duke University Press, his camera had become an almost constant companion, second only to the cigarettes he famously chain-smoked.


John Menapace self portrait.

Menapace eventually founded the first photography courses at Duke, soon followed by summer workshops at Penland School of Crafts, to which many of the state's best known photographers (Elizabeth Matheson and Caroline Vaughan among them) trace their own visual lineage and way of working. Fellow photographer David Simonton has called Menapace "the father of art photography in North Carolina."


John Menapace square photograph of a shopping cart.

When Menapace died in the summer of 2010, he left behind hundreds of photography books from his personal library, thousands of black and white prints, and tens of thousands of negatives, all of which were gifted to the Gregg's permanent collection. Since July 2012, Spanish photo historian Bélen Morata and retired lawyer Sammy Kirby have been cataloging and archiving the trove. Never-before-exhibited selections they discovered form the core of SMOKES AND MIRRORS.




Exhibition archives >

Exhibition catalogs >

Permanent Collection

The Gregg Museum of Art & Design maintains a permanent collection of more than 20,000 objects, including textiles, ceramics, folk and outsider art, photographs, furniture, ethnographic artifacts, architectural drawings, and fine art. Any student or member of the public can arrange to access and study them personally by contacting the museum ahead of time.

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