Portrait of African American man in white shirt with yellow background. An initialed brick sits below the portrait painting. Portrait of Sterling Jones, who began his career as a brick maker during the construction of Sweet Briar College. Painted by Jean Imbrine, class of 1935. The Sweet Briar Museum maintains a collection of historical decorative arts, photographs, archival documents and publications, clothing, jewelry and memorabilia associated with Sweet Briar — from the founding family, the enslaved families and their descendants, the college administrators, faculty & alumnae. Alongside, details of key events in the College’s history, from the Supreme Court ruling in 1966 that integrated the college, to its saving from potential closure by alumni in 2015.

The study of historical artifacts can be an invaluable component of a liberal arts education. It enhances the classroom-based curriculum in disciplines such as history, archaeology and ancient studies, arts management and visual arts. The Sweet Briar Museum provides an ongoing opportunity for students and professors to examine and research original artifacts documenting the College’s complex history.

The Sweet Briar Museum, Sweet Briar House and the Enslaved Community Cabin are open to visitors on request.


Students looking at exhibits in the Sweet Briar Museum. Students at Sweet Briar Museum use the history of the College to learn context for past events.