The Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery is focused on presenting challenging and engaging artwork; mostly contemporary, but sometimes focused on historical works or selections from the breadth of Wake Forest University’s collections. Through 6-8 exhibitions a year, the Hanes Gallery’s goal is to encourage a direct and involving experience with the artwork.
The 3,600-square-foot Wake Forest University Fine Arts Gallery opened in 1976 within the newly-constructed Scales Fine Arts Center. The first exhibition was a major show of 20th Century European Art from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum including artwork by Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, and Max Ernst.
During the gallery’s second year, members of the Art Department faculty took turns curating and installing exhibitions. Several group exhibitions were put together, including a print show and an invitational of national contemporary artists. In 1978, the Art Department hired its first gallery director.
In 2001, Wake Forest University renamed the gallery the Charlotte and Philip Hanes Art Gallery in recognition of Winston-Salem businessman R. Philip Hanes and his wife Charlotte and their contributions to the arts. Philip Hanes was chairman emeritus of Hanes Dye and Finishing and helped shape the N.C. School of the Arts, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts and the Roger L. Stevens Center for the Performing Arts in Winston-Salem. He received the National Medal of Arts from President George Bush in 1991 for his role as the founder of community arts programs across the country.