The Academy Art Museum was originally founded as the Academy of the Arts in 1958 by Eastern Shore residents who desired to create a place dedicated to the knowledge, practice and appreciation of the arts. The group was led by renowned architectural sculptor Lee Lawry. The Academy moved to its current address in 1960. Many additions and improvements were made to the building over the years as the Museum’s membership grew. In the mid-1980s, the Museum purchased the Thomas-Hardcastle house next door. In 1989-1990, after considerable renovation and restoration, the house was joined to the Museum’s original building through a two-story glass atrium, adding 10,000 square feet for administrative offices and classrooms. In 2003, the organization was accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and changed its name to the Academy Art Museum.