The Sweet Briar art collection is housed in the award-winning Anne Gary Pannell Center. Formerly the Refectory (dining hall), it is one of the four original campus buildings designed by the firm of Cram Goodhue & Ferguson in 1906. Reflecting the architect's characteristic historicism, the exterior design is a rare collegiate example of Ralph Adam Cram's Georgian Revival style. The interior was renovated in 1984 to include climate-controlled display and storage facilities appropriate to the scope and quality of the Sweet Briar art collection.
More than a century after its construction the building's graceful facade continues to provide a timeless focal point for the College's quadrangle, serving as a backdrop for activities such as students' traditional step-singing and Commencement ceremonies. In 1995, the College's original core buildings, including Pannell, were named to the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places. For more information about the building and the campus's distinctive architecture, see Aileen H. Laing, Sweet Briar College and Ralph Adams Cram: Dreams and Reality (Sweet Briar, VA: Sweet Briar College Art Gallery, 2001).