In the early years of the 20th century, Nathan and Jessie Kimberly Paine intended the mansion, gardens, and surrounding architectural structures that now comprise the Paine Art Center and Gardens as their future home; it would be open to the public as a cultural center, but would also function as a residence. Then the Depression came, and the place fell into neglect; it was only in 1946, a year before Nathan Paine died, that a deal was finalized to establish the Paine as a museum, by which time the Paines had given up on the idea of living there.
The Paine maintains and enhances numerous display gardens as “galleries” of horticulture with varied designs and thousands of plant specimens, while on display inside the mansion are selections from the Paine’s collection of fine art and decorative objects. The collection includes French Barbizon and American landscape paintings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The museum’s art collection has grown over the years through donations and purchases, but continues to reflect the subjects and spirit of the original gift made by the Paines. In addition, the Paine presents a wide variety of changing art exhibitions, from historical to contemporary, within the estate’s galleries and gardens. (KCE)
Paine Art Center and Gardens Information
- Public Transportation: Fair (a short walk from OTS bus 6 at Algoma Boulevard/Congress Avenue; and a 5-minute walk from bus 5 at Congress Avenue/Spruce Street)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed Mondays and major holidays
- Admission: Adult $9; Youth (5-17) $5; Members Free. On Wednesdays, Seniors (62+) and Students (w/I.D.) are admitted for $5
- Tour: Tours of both the mansion and gardens are available. Contact the Special Events Coordinator at least two weeks in advance to schedule a guided tour
- Membership: Individual ($50); Family ($75); Sustaining ($125); Supporting ($250); and Benefactor ($500). Member benefits include free admission to the Paine mansion and gardens, including Self-Guided Tours of Nutcracker in the Castle; free or reduced admission to programs and events; free subscription to the Paine’s Newsletter; a 10% discount on plant sales and Paine merchandise; free members-only events; and educational program schedules.