Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Advances Towards Spring 2023 Grand Opening

Museum’s Rebuilding Made Possible by Significant Private Philanthropy and Public Funding

June 29, 2022 (LITTLE ROCK, Ark.)­ – The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA) today announced plans for a Spring 2023 grand opening. 

“We look forward to opening our doors this spring,” said AMFA Executive Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez. “The new building will offer a fresh look at how the public engages with and experiences art. Central to the re-envisioning of programming will be the installation of the AMFA Foundation’s permanent collection and a series of innovative temporary exhibitions.  Select works featured in the galleries are recently acquired and have never been seen by the public.” Dr. Ramirez noted, “All of this was made possible by a combination of generous private philanthropy and public funding.”

Since the groundbreaking for the new building, the AMFA Foundation has acquired a total of 811 new works of art including important pieces by celebrated artists Hans Hofmann and Andrew Wyeth. “These new acquisitions, and 500 enamel works gifted by the Enamel Arts Foundation, were made possible thanks to the generosity of local and national donors whose support of the AMFA has been essential to its rebirth and future,” said Warren Stephens, AMFA Foundation Chair and Capital Campaign Co-Chair.

“At the grand opening, we will not only celebrate AMFA as a significant architectural and artistic landmark for the region, but also the outpouring of private support and public funding that has made this project possible. This has been an incredible civic undertaking, enabled by the great success of our capital campaign, which continues to bring so many generous people together,” said Harriet Stephens, Building Committee Chair, Capital Campaign Co-Chair, and AMFA Foundation Board Member.

The capital campaign, Reimagining the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, includes a $31,245,000 contribution from the City of Little Rock, generated through a hotel tax revenue bond approved by Little Rock voters. Overwhelming private support has more than quadrupled the public contribution to the project. Lead donors include Windgate Foundation, Harriet and Warren Stephens, Terri and Chuck Erwin, the State of Arkansas, and Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust. 

The campaign has 29 donors at the 21st Century Founders level who have contributed gifts between $1 million and $35 million. The campaign also has 92 donors at the Leadership level, contributing between $100,000 and $999,999, as well as 93 contributors at the Major Donor level, giving between $25,000 and $99,999. Numerous other individuals, families, businesses, and foundations have made generous donations at every gift level.       

“Since the 2019 groundbreaking, we have been focused on constructing the new museum facility and grounds and planning inaugural exhibitions and programs that will excite and engage the community. We look forward to unveiling our plans in the upcoming months leading to the grand opening,” said Ramirez. “We and Studio Gang, the project’s lead architect, are proud AMFA was the only American building recognized this year by ICON magazine as being among the most anticipated architectural sites to be opened in the US. We look forward to sharing this incredible new museum and grounds with the public.”

For more information about the new museum or to participate in the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts’ capital campaign, email the museum’s development office at development@arkmfa.org.

About the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts:

Founded in 1937, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is the largest cultural institution of its kind in the state, offering a unique blend of visual and performing arts experiences. AMFA is committed to featuring diverse media and artistic perspectives within its 14,000-object permanent collection as well as through rotating temporary exhibitions. AMFA’s international collection spans six centuries, with strengths in works on paper and contemporary craft, and includes notable holdings by artists from Arkansas, the wider Mississippi River Delta region, and across the United States.

With a vibrant mix of ideas, cultures, people, and places, AMFA extends this commitment to diversity through its dynamic children’s theatre and performing arts program, innovative studio art school, and community-focused educational programs for all ages. Located in Little Rock’s oldest urban green space, MacArthur Park, AMFA’s landmark building and grounds are designed by Studio Gang Architects and SCAPE, in collaboration with Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects.