State of North Carolina

06/21/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/21/2024 10:01

New Traveling Exhibit Opens at Mountain Gateway Museum

Friday, June 21, 2024

New Traveling Exhibit Opens at Mountain Gateway Museum

Jun 21, 2024

A new traveling exhibit, "Douglas Ellington: Asheville's Boomtown Architect," opens at the Mountain Gateway Museum Saturday, June 29. The exhibit runs through Jan. 26, 2025.

Douglas Ellington is known as the architect who changed Asheville into an Art Deco showplace during the late 1920s. In five years, from 1925 to 1930, he transformed the landscape of downtown Asheville.

Short for the French, Arts décoratifs (decorative arts), Art Deco design turned modernism into fashion. The intention, be it in individual items, mass-produced products, or architecture, was to create a sleek elegance, symbolizing wealth and sophistication. Art Deco shows an admiration for modernity, and the design qualities of machine-made objects. The key characteristics of Art Deco are simplicity, planarity, symmetry, and repetition of elements.

This traveling exhibit, from the Asheville Museum of History, examines both the life of Douglas Ellington, as well as his work in Asheville and elsewhere. During Asheville's Pre-Depression building boom, Ellington combined the bold colors, geometric patterns, and extravagant ornamentation of Art Deco with other architectural styles to create an iconic cityscape that is unique in Western North Carolina.

These one-of-a kind buildings include the City Building, Asheville High School, First Baptist Church and S&W Cafeteria. "Douglas Ellington: Asheville's Boomtown Architect" presents a look at his iconic Asheville creations along with other buildings Ellington completed throughout his career in other cities.

Exhibit features include:

• Artwork by Douglas Ellington
• Architectural Designs & Blueprint
• Survey Equipment

About Mountain Gateway Museum
A regional branch of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, the Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center (MGM) is the westernmost facility in the NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources' Division of State History Museums.

Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of historic Mill Creek in downtown Old Fort (McDowell County), the museum uses artifacts, exhibitions, educational programs, living history demonstrations, and special events to teach people about the rich history and cultural heritage of the state's mountain region, from its original inhabitants through early settlement and into the 20th century.

As part of its education outreach mission, MGM also assists nonprofit museums and historic sites in 38 western NC counties with exhibit development & fabrication, genealogical research, photography archives, traveling exhibitions, and consultations. For more information, visit the museum's website: or call 828-668-9259.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina - its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.
The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

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Jesse Bricker
(828) 668-9259