McRitchie-Hollis Museum

Over the years we have sought to bring educational and interactive programming to the community and we ask that you join with us in supporting this endeavor. We believe that museums can be exciting places for persons of every age and background. In the next few years we will be embarking on a new and exciting journey as we build a children’s museum and continue developing exhibits at the new McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Stayed tuned for more changes and feel free to contact us at executivedirector@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com !

And keep up with events on our Facebook page!

Consider helping us continue our mission through membership via our online gift shop or a tax-deductible donation.


Art & Architecture walking tour May 7

Painting by Bette Schumann

Painting by Bette Schumann

Art & Architecture will be offered by Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, Newnan-Coweta Art Association and Main Street Newnan with a walk starting in downtown and ending at the Male Academy 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 7 in conjunction with the monthly Market Day event around the Court Square.

Interested participants will be able to pick up a walking tour brochure with a map and information about the historic buildings featured and the artists.

Artists from Newnan-Coweta Art Association will be painting historical spots of interest at selected locations on the Court Square. They will also be around the Male Academy Museum at Temple Avenue and College Street doing paintings of the former boys school and various historic homes in the area.

The event kicks off the celebration of National Historic Preservation Month in May.

This year the celebration focuses on three words that say it all: This. Place. Matters.

Everyone has places that are important to them. Places they care about. Places that matter. This Place Matters is national campaign that encourages people to celebrate the places that are meaningful to them and to their communities.


Beyond Cups & Bowls taking entries for summer show

BC&B postcard 001

Beyond Cups & Bowls, a juried fine art clay competition, is taking entries through May 7 for a summer show at the Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Ave. in Newnan.

If you’re looking for high quality, creative, clay art, this is the answer. Beyond Cups & Bowls pushes the creative envelope in the world of muddy hands and clay. APPLY TODAY to enter this JURIED CLAY COMPETITION. Introductory offer for first-time submissions: $25 Jury Fee (includes up to 4 works). Artists juried into BC&B’s June 4th exhibition will have an opportunity to purchase booth space. Blind Judging. CASH PRIZES. DEADLINE to Enter 2016 Competition: May 7th, 2016.

To enter and for full information go to the website: http://www.beyondcupsandbowls.com/

An opening reception with Artist Showcase & Preview Sale (inside artists)
is Friday, June 3, at 7 p.m. There will be jazz, great art, talent recognition and good food. It is free and open to the public.

The fine art clay creations competition and exhibit with full indoor and outdoor exhibits opens Saturday, June 4, with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free and open to the public. Additional parking available in the nearby parking lot behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum (1 block away) next door to the West Georgia campus (old Newnan Hospital)

For more information call 770-688-5844.


Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show runs through June 30

Julie Dice Wynn, “Morning Reflection” – FIRST PLACE WINNER, with show director Carla Cook Smith.

Julie Dice Wynn, “Morning Reflection” – FIRST PLACE WINNER, with show director Carla Cook Smith.

Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show” is on display through June 30 in the downstairs galleries at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.


Entry is under way for the fall Simple Pleasures competition. This contest is for images of any simple pleasure — should have a human or animal element. The entry deadline is August 1 for the show, which opens Saturday, Oct. 1 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Those interested may email registration information and images being entered and pay online via the “Donate” PayPal button on the www.simplepleasuresfoto.com website.

Entry forms with full details are available at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum during The Nature Show exhibition, or download one here:

Simple Pleasures Entry Form 2016


See new exhibition on pivotal 1948 John Wallace murder trial

“Flies at the Well,” new musical drama, recently premiered April 1-3, and Newnan-Coweta Historical Society has a new exhibition about the 1948 murder case that sent Meriwether land baron John Wallace to Georgia’s electric chair.

The play, presented by Newnan Theatre Company, sets the events of the 1948 Newnan murder trial of John Wallace against a score of Shape Note and gospel musical tradition.


The new historical exhibition opened in the upstairs galleries at McRitchie-Hollis Museum April 1, the night of the premiere. It shares information on the actual case and trial that sent Wallace to Georgia’s electric chair and features artifacts and memorabilia on loan from Joe Crain Sr. of Newnan.


Learn about the Wallace murder case and trial recounted by Margaret Anne Barnes in her book “Murder in Coweta County,” and that were the basis for  the1983 CBS made-for-TV movie starring Johnny Cash as Sheriff Lamar Potts and Andy Griffith as John Wallace.

“Flies at the Well” incorporates 19th century Shape Note and gospel music as a background for the story of the 1948 murder and trial.

Learn some of the history of the Shape Note and black gospel music traditions that are a major part of the production … see our What’s New section or CLICK HERE.

Wallace brochures_hotoffpresses

For a digital version of our new brochure on area locations associated with the 1948 murder case and trial of John Wallace, go to our SELF-GUIDED TOURS page.


Art of Carl Charles Tait at McRitchie-Hollis
Original art by Carl Charles Tait

Original art by Carl Charles Tait

As a special treat for the holidays and early 2016 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum has been the art of late LaGrange artist and businessman Carl Charles Tait. He created a line of greeting cards in his early years and his original art is on display. Early in his career Tait worked for B. Altman’s department store in New York City and developed a line of table linens and handkerchiefs. The handkerchiefs are popular collectors items. See his original art with new samples for February. An auction is in the works to benefit the planned Children’s Museum project.

Southern Crossroads concluding lecture May 19

Southern Crossroads literature series, a joint program of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and the Newnan Carnegie Library, concludes with a program 7:30 p.m. May 19 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. The topic will be “Is It True What They Say About Dixie? Southern History Through Song” presented by Dr. Steve Goodson, Ph.D, chair of the Department of History and professor of history at UWG.



Ongoing exhibit at Male Academy Museum
Glenn Rainey with Odd-Fellow pattern quilt by Ina Yates.

Glenn Rainey with Odd-Fellow pattern quilt by Ina Yates.

Local actor Glenn Rainey is proud to have his quilt as one of the 10 currently on display at the Male Academy Museum for the exhibit, “Labor of Love.”
“I feel honored to have one of my Big Mom’s handmade quilts,” said Rainey, a participant in the exhibit featuring the mill town of Arnco and one of its residents, Ina Yates. “The first one she made for me, a double wedding ring pattern, was stolen from me when I was a student at UGA. I was heartbroken, but she stitched another for me, the beautiful Odd Fellow, no two matching pieces. And nothing could match the love she had for her family, as evidenced by the amazing number of quilts she selflessly and lovingly hand stitched.”
See the exhibit at the Male Academy through February. at the corner of College Street and Temple Avenue.


NCHS MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL time is here! If you’ve already renewed for 2016, thank you so much! Look for your recently-mailed notice with a membership renewal card and return envelope, or renew online at giftshop.newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com. Thank you for your support!


Gift shops at Male Academy and McRitchie-Hollis


Don’t forget to stop by the recently re-opened and re-decorated Male Academy Museum gift shop. We still have a few of the Main Street Christmas ornaments. The 2015 edition features the NCHS Children’s Museum art project, “All Roads Lead to Newnan!”

We also still have our “History of Coweta County” on sale for half price, $25.

  • At the Male Academy Museum – Arnco Village provides the focus of the current exhibition at the Male Academy Museum, which opened Dec. 5 and continues for spring 2016. Ina Thornton Yates, known to her family as “Big Mom,” learned to quilt at the age of 8, and wound up making quilts for all of her loved ones from her home in Arnco. More than 20 quilts have been passed down through the exended family, including the Raineys.
  • The original work of LaGrange artist Charles Tait is on display at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Tait was a creative and wonderful artist, with claims to fame such as a large mural in the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, airport, and Christmas cards distributed by American Artist’s Group. He even designed a line of handkerchiefs and table linens that was available exclusively through B. Altman & Company department stores.
  • John Wallace Trial – At McRitchie-Hollis Museum see a new exhibition on the police case and trial of John Wallace that led to the book and TV movie “Murder in Coweta County.” It is mounted in conjunction with the recent April 1, 2 and 3 premiere of the new theatrical production of the story, “Flies at the Well.”
  • Simple Pleasures: The Nature Show opening reception was April 2 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum. The photography is on display through June 30.
  • Southern Crossroads literature series continues through May. Part 4 is 2:30 p.m. April 28 at the Carnegie with “The Female Aesthetic in the Modern South: A Confederacy of Water Moccasins” presented by Dr. Rebecca Harrison, Ph.D., associate professor of English. Concluding the series 7:30 p.m. May 19 at McRitchie-Hollis Museum will be “Is It True What They Say About Dixie? Southern History Through Song” presented by Dr. Steve Goodson, Ph.D, chair of the Department of History and professor of history at UWG.
  • Art and Architecture” will be offered by NCHS and Main Street Newnan with a walk starting in downtown and ending at the Male Academy May 7 in conjunction with the monthly Market Day event around the Court Square. Artists will be painting at selected locations on the Court Square and around the Male Academy Museum at Temple Avenue and College Street.
  • We’ll be celebrating the bathing suit with an exhibition at McRitchie-Hollis Museum on styles through the years and examples from the NCHS textiles collections.
  • Painter David Boyd, Jr. and his father, political cartoonist and illustrator David Boyd plan a joint show of their art coming in late 2016.

NCHS is cooperating with the Coweta County Genealogical Society to plan joint programming extending into 2016, including planning for another edition of video recording sessions to preserve memories of life in Coweta after the successful fall edition Nov. 21, 2015. And our second annual Quilt Expo will be coming to the Depot History Center, 60 East Broad Street in early October 2016. It includes displays of colorful and creative quilts and vendors with quilting supplies and gear. Details: 770-251-0207 For more information stop by McRitchie-Hollis at 74 Jackson Street or call us at 770-251-0207. We keep our web site at www.newnancowetahistoricalsociety updated, as well as regular posts on our Facebook page.


McRitchie Hollis Museum, the new home base for Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, is a 1937 home restored to elegance of the era. The museum has constantly-changing exhibitions of decorative arts and telling stories related to the history of Newnan and Coweta County.
Entry/tours –  $5 general admission or $2 for students and senior citizens. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-noon and 1-3. The museum is located just north of downtown Newnan at 74 Jackson St., beside the new University of West Georgia – Newnan campus. There is plenty of parking in the lot behind the museum.
The Male Academy at 30 Temple Avenue is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. (and by appointment, call 770-251-0207). The Male Academy currently features exhibitions related to quilts, along with furnishings from Coweta’s early years. Donations accepted.
Our Civil War collection is housed at the Depot History Center, which is rented for events and is open for tours by appointment. Included are paintings by local artist Martin Pate depicting events surrounding the Battle of Brown’s Mill, which took place south of Newnan, as well as information on Newnan and Coweta County’s development. For details on rentals or tours, call 770-251-0207.