In 1928, the Springfield Art Museum became the city’s first cultural institution, becoming the oldest in the state. It is a city department that allows you to connect with the world, your neighborhood, and yourself through active involvement with art objects. The Museum is a department of the City of Springfield, MO. More than 10,000 pieces from thousands of years of culture are included in our permanent collection, which includes particular collections devoted to American art from the nineteenth century to the present as well as Asian art, modern watercolors, textiles, sculpture, and prints.
Because we have a collection of more than 10,000 pieces that span many different historical periods and civilizations, we are continuously altering what we have on display. It was two modest seascapes by Philadelphia artist Mary Butler that marked the beginning of the Springfield Art Museum’s permanent collection in 1928. This marked the beginning of a sustained interest in American art spanning from the 18th century to date. Special collections on display include American water-media, Asian porcelains, Art of the Midwest, Printmaking, and other mediums.
Through paintings, sculpture, ceramics, pottery, decorative arts, and textiles, visitors will be able to learn about a range of ages and cultures from around the world, including Europe, Asia, and America. Take your time visiting each part of the museum, which includes displays of items from our permanent collection as well as temporary and special exhibitions. Bring the kids and head to the Family Art Lab, which offers a variety of hands-on activities for the whole family, or spend some private time in the Book Nook. You are welcome to stay as long as you want. You are free to wander at your own speed. Take a seat and take in your surroundings. We want you to have a positive experience at the Springfield Art Museum and look forward to seeing you again.
In 1926, a bunch of women guided by Deborah D. Weisel formed the Art Study Club, which continues to this day. We owe a debt of gratitude to those ladies for the establishment of the Springfield Art Museum. That group of women had a vision and a commitment to art appreciation, preservation, and education, and the Springfield Art Museum is the city’s oldest cultural institution. The Springfield Art Museum is committed to carrying on the heritage of art appreciation, preservation, and education that began with their vision and dedication. In June 1928, the organization was successful in forming the Springfield Art Museum, which immediately began bringing traveling exhibits to Springfield from cities such as New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and other cities around the country. The Art Study Club transferred ownership of the museum to the city eighteen years later, in 1946.