The Morris Museum’s permanent collection was established in 1989 with the purchase of 230 paintings from Dr. Robert Powell Coggins, a pioneering collector of Southern art. That acquisition set the museum’s mission and identified its special interest in the art and artists of the American South. When it opened in 1992, the collection included approximately 700 objects, half of them paintings. Today, the museum’s collection includes 5,000 works of art that represent fifteen states and the District of Columbia. In recent years, its traditional strengths in paintings and works on paper have been significantly enhanced by the creation of important collections of photographs, folk art, and studio art glass. The Morris Museum’s Center for the Study of Southern Art, a comprehensive research library, has also grown to include more than 17,000 volumes, more than 23,000 vertical files, 1,000 media resources, and a rich archive that includes artists’ letters and papers.