Hometown Tourist: Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum

One of the first things you see when you arrive on Mackinac Island is Marquette Park and Fort Mackinac sitting proudly, waiting to go explore.

Just below the fort sits a historic building that now houses the Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum.

The Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum opened up about 10 years ago, and houses fine and decorative art detailing Mackinac Island’s history as only art can.

“It ranges from 18th and 19th century views of Mackinac Island, up to a modern juried exhibition that’s open to all artists, and all mediums, so it really showcases Mackinac’s art history in a special way that art can,” said Marketing Manager Dominick Miller.

Two levels of exhibits display items like hand crafted Native American bead work as well as pottery dating back nearly ten thousand years found on this exact site, another gallery displays 18th and 19th century views of the island.

Upstairs, lies a treasure trove of historic maps, a juried art exhibition for anyone who wants to enter and a historic photography exhibit.

“The works of William Gardiner who was a prominent photographer here on the island. So, what was going to be thrown away had now become one of the corner stone pieces of our collection. Plus, images of historic Mackinac dating from the late 1800’s up until the 1930’s, this wonderful amazing collection that we use in all of our gallery pieces and exhibit pieces here when we’re doing something on Mackinac Island,” said Miller.

And they lucky to get this wealth of photographs and hand tinted prints from William Gardiner. Thousands of photos were marked to go to the dump and saved just in the nick of time years after he passed.

From thousands of years ago, to the present day, and a kid’s studio to create more art, this museum covers it all in a special way.

“So we can really celebrate these beautiful pieces of Mackinac’s history and have this wonderful area to come in and relax, and contemplate the history of this area, and how much has actually happened in this tiny little rock in the middle of lake Huron. We can really get a depth of that history and complement to the other history of Mackinac, Fort Mackinac, The Grand Hotel and all these other wonderful places, you can really contemplate that history here right in the thick of things downtown on Mackinac Island,” said Miller.