Clark Atlanta University Art Museum's (CAUAM) purpose is to collect, preserve, research, and exhibit fine artworks that document the role of African Americans in American history and culture. The primary goal of the institution is to maintain and cultivate a representative collection of American and African Diaspora art and to encourage scholarly research giving special attention to the development of African American artists in relation to the historical context of American art and transnational art historical movements.
Through increased accessibility, CAUAM serves the interest and goals of the university by providing a range of aesthetic and educational experiences for both the CAU community and the general public. Exhibitions and related programs are designed to enhance the cultural and intellectual development of these communities through the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of important works of art. In serving both the academic goals of the institution and public interests, CAUAM disseminates knowledge about and stimulates interest in the permanent collection via special programs, information services, publications, and cooperation with other museums and cultural/educational institutions.