Celebrate Springfield Art Museum’s 90th Birthday
This year, Springfield’s oldest cultural institution, the Springfield Art Museum, celebrates a big anniversary.
By Courtney Caldwell
The Springfield Art Museum celebrates 90 years with special exhibits, including “Decades,” featuring 10 works from each decade that showcase what the museum was collecting over the past 90 years. The exhibition gives the community a look into how the trends of artwork have evolved for almost 100 years. The opening reception for the “Decades” exhibition also serves as the museum’s 90th birthday bash, so you don’t want to miss out!
Throughout this yearlong festival, many new exhibitions are making an appearance—in addition to the 10,000 works of art that are already in the museum’s permanent collection.
Starting this March, they have the All-School Exhibition, in which students from all over the community in grades kindergarten through 12th grade get to show their artistic talents to the Springfield community. All Youth Month is a celebration that has been a fundamental part of the museum’s exhibition schedule for more than 40 years.
In April, be sure to catch “Frolic of the Mind: The Illustrious Life of Rose O’Neill.” Rose O’Neill rose to fame with her creations of the Kewpies characters in the early 1900s. This exhibition displays O’Neill’s illustrations, rarely seen paintings, drawings and much more.
From June through August, the 57th annual Watercolor USA appears in the museum, allowing artists from all 50 states to compete for cash prizes and for the chance for the museum to purchase some of the original works. This exhibition was created by the Springfield Art Museum in 1962 to attract the best contemporary American watercolor artists, and more than 50 years later, it’s still drawing talent from across the nation.
Through the Years
Springfield Art Museum is formed
Sun Target II by John Henry is installed on the museum’s east grounds
Additions are made to the original building
Nick Nelson becomes the museum’s Art Director
Andy Warhol prints are stolen
Master plan goes into final concepts
Art in Bloom is also coming to the art museum this year. This signature event celebrates fine arts and floral displays in the form of a three-day festival. Art in Bloom lets creativity blossom as floral designers from throughout the region use flowers to artistically interpret works of art on view in the museum’s galleries.
This year the Museum is also hosting its fourth annual 99 X Party that helps the museum fund its programs and mission in a fun and casual environment. Each year, the event celebrates works of different local artists, helping attendees remember the importance of art.
To commemorate the 90 years that the museum has serviced our community, the art museum is implementing a master planning process to envision what the building and grounds will look like for the next 90 years. But worry not. The plan will keep the institution’s artistic background in mind—the Kansas City, Missouri firm carrying out the plan also worked on the block addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in downtown Kansas City.
When you visit the Springfield Art museum, make sure you take time to see some of the museum’s most popular pieces.
1. Sun Target II by John Henry
2. tilted sky by Anne Lindberg
3. Untitled by Jackson Pollock
4. Portrait of Fanny Smith Crenshaw by George Caleb Bingham
5. T’ang Burial Horse by anonymous artist
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