Our Mission

The Museums at W&L advance learning through direct engagement with the collections and facilitate an interdisciplinary appreciation of art, history, and culture.

Open Hours
  • Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall is open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Reeves Museum of Ceramics and Watson Galleries are temporarily closed for installations and will reopen August 28, 2024 and October 2, 2024, respectively.

View Museum Hours and Admissions

Reeves Museum of Ceramics

The Reeves Museum of Ceramics showcases one of the country’s finest collections of Chinese and Japanese export ceramics. The collection includes European, Asian, and American ceramics spanning some 4,000 years. The collection tells stories of history, design, technology, trade, patriotism, and protest. Inside the Reeves Museum is the Elisabeth S. Gottwald Gallery, a rotating gallery that often highlights the work of Louise Herreshoff Reeves, an early 20th-century American painter noted for Impressionist and Fauvist works.

University Chapel & Galleries

A National Historic Landmark, the Chapel opened in 1868 during Robert E. Lee’s tenure as 11th president of then Washington College. Non-denominational and unconsecrated, the Chapel housed an auditorium, administrative offices, a YMCA, and a library. In 1928, a museum was installed in the basement. Today, that museum is now comprised of several gallery spaces with exhibitions on the history of the university. Visitors also see Edward Valentine's Recumbent Lee statue.

University Chapel Visitation Policies

The university's stated Facilities Use Policy has said, and continues to say, that individuals or groups not affiliated with the university may not use our campus as a platform for their own personal or political displays or statements. This includes, but is not limited to, historical or replica uniforms.

Visitors will be asked to open large bags or purses for inspection by the Public Safety Officer on duty. Additionally, all visitors to campus must comply with the University weapons policy, which prohibits the use, possession and storage of all firearms, dangerous weapons, explosives or other dangerous articles on all properties owned, leased or otherwise controlled by Washington and Lee University. Law enforcement officers duly authorized to carry such instruments are accepted.

The University Chapel staff wants to ensure that you enjoy your visit to the Chapel and are able to share the experience. In order to make it a pleasant experience for all our visitors and to protect the parts of our collection that are under copyright, our photography policy must be observed.

Watson Galleries and Japanese Tearoom

The Watson contains two changing exhibit galleries that showcase rotating selections from the fine arts and ceramics collections. The art collection includes roughly 8,000 works of art from around the globe, and consists of early American portraits by artists such as Charles Willson Peale and Gilbert Stuart, a growing collection of 20th and 21st century works by international artists, including Elizabeth Catlett, Fernando Botero, William Christenberry, Sam Gilliam, Sally Mann, and Andy Warhol among others. In addition, the art collection includes Chinese fan paintings, 20th-century Chinese brush paintings, and Japanese woodblock prints.

In addition, Watson Galleries house the Senshin'an (洗心庵 or "Clearing-the-Mind Abode"), an authentic Japanese Tea Room that is open for viewing, as well as public tea demonstrations throughout the year. To learn more about the tea room please visit the Senshin'an website. To schedule a tea ceremony demonstration, please contact Professor Janet Ikeda.