Originally named as the Southwest Georgia Art Association, it has obtained it not-for-profit status in March of 1964. Through the generosity of W. Banks Haley, the group was able to establish a gallery in a small city park. The gallery then started to have corporate collections including those of IBM, Coca-Cola and Gulf States Paper Company items.
The Gallery was home to the Southeastern Annual exhibitions and Georgia Craftsmen shows and art instructions for children and adults which were headed by instructors with profession standing. The programs and activities provided by the gallery included file and lecture series, chamber music and dinner theatre. The Associations name was officially changed to the Albany Museum of Art in 1980 at the beginning of a capital funds campaign for a new building.
The citizens of Albany and Southwest Georgia opened a new museum facility with displays of American Impressionism from the Philips Collection and a permanent installation of its own collection of tradition African art. The Albany Museum of Art gives the public over twenty art exhibitions annually including its permanent collection exhibits. The museum holds an auditorium that has a 200 seat capacity and a classroom for studio arts.
The current Albany Museum of Art is home to 19th and 20th century American and European paintings, drawings, sculptures, watercolors, prints, photographs and houses one of the largest collections of authentic African art.