The museum, formerly known as the St. John's Museum of Art, is dedicated to the fine art and crafts of North Carolina. It presents exhibitions and public programs of both historical and contemporary significance, with six to eight changing exhibitions annually. The displayed permanent collection, contained in a sleek 40,000-square-foot facility, varies and includes originals by Mary Cassatt and folk artist Clyde Jones. On the 10-acre grounds are restored Confederate defense
mounds built during a battle in the waning days of the Civil War. The museum's Cafe Johnnie focuses on local foods and Southern recipes with a modern twist.