About

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts offers an inspiring array of visual, performing arts, and educational experiences. The Museum is committed to creating an inclusive cultural space for the community to engage with diverse artistic perspectives through the AMFA Foundation’s 14,000 object permanent collection, compelling temporary exhibitions, lively theatre, and enriching courses.

Building Transformation

Designed by world-renowned architectural firm Studio Gang, the Museum’s open, socially oriented redesign aligns with AMFA’s mission to create a welcoming, community-centered space.

The Silver LEED-certified building features a grand corridor that extends to light-filled vestibules welcoming visitors into the building from MacArthur Park at the south Park Entrance and downtown Little Rock at the north Courtyard Entrance, where the restored 1937 façade of the original Museum of Fine Arts is given prominence.

On the south side of the building, the innovative roofline creates a luminous grand atrium that merges seamlessly with the environment.

  • View from the Crescent Lawn of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts’ new Courtyard Entrance. Above, the Cultural Living Room signals the new entrance from Crescent Drive and creates a new courtyard plaza that reveals the Museum’s historic façade. Image courtesy of Studio Gang and SCAPE.

  • View of the new Park Entrance to the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts from MacArthur Park. A new restaurant with an outdoor shaded terrace overlooks the park and connects to a new network of walking paths and stormwater-fed gardens designed by SCAPE. Image courtesy of Studio Gang and SCAPE.

  • View toward the Park Entrance to MacArthur Park from inside the Museum Atrium, which connects AMFA’s new programming areas. Image courtesy of Studio Gang.

  • Interior view of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts where gallery spaces connect with new community gathering spaces such as the Cultural Living Room and the Atrium. State-of-the-art galleries will showcase the AMFA Foundation Collection and house special exhibitions. The Cultural Living Room is a community space for casual gatherings and elevated events. Image courtesy of Studio Gang.

  • A new entrance to the north invites visitors to re-experience the building’s original 1937 façade through an open-air courtyard before entering the Museum. Image courtesy of Studio Gang.

  • Entering through the original 1937 facade, guests are welcomed to the Museum’s lobby.

  • The Cultural Living Room is one of the signature new expansions at the new Museum. This second-floor room has soaring floor-to-ceiling glass walls that overlook the Courtyard Entrance, the Museum’s original 1937 façade, and the newly landscaped Crescent Lawn.

  • Another signature expansion of the enw Museum is the Glass Box. This sleek, modern interior space offers striking views of MacArthur Park from the adjoining terrace.

  • Located adjacent to the Park Entrance, AMFA’s full-service restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining options with beautiful views of the Museum’s landscaped grounds and MacArthur Park.

  • This aerial view shows how the new Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts creates new pathways and connections to MacArthur Park. The design includes a new restaurant with outdoor shaded seating, walking paths, and a great lawn. Over time, a tree canopy will develop, creating a true “museum in a park.”

Capital Campaign

Reimagining the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is a special fundraising campaign that will make our vision for the new Museum possible. Discover how you can join the campaign and make an impact today.

Learn More

Museum History

Founded by women in 1914, the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas established the collection and gallery that would grow into the Museum of Fine Arts, opening in Little Rock’s MacArthur Park in 1937. Featuring a stunning Art Deco façade built by artists of the Works Progress Administration, the Museum of Fine Arts was the first museum dedicated to the fine arts in the state of Arkansas.

In 1963, the expanded Museum was opened with a city ordinance officially establishing it as the Arkansas Arts Center.

Over the next 50 years, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Art's MacArthur Park building underwent seven further expansions to accommodate its growing collection and community. In a 1982 renovation and expansion, the Museum of Fine Arts’ art deco façade was preserved as a feature of the building’s interior galleries.

After a century of expansion, the Museum underwent a redesign project headed by Jeanne Gang and the architectural firm Studio Gang. This process began in 2016, when residents of the city voted for a tax bond to raise funds for the new institution.

Following a rebrand to the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in 2021, the new Museum will open its doors on April 22, 2023.

  • 1937 Facade: The Museum of Fine Arts and its Art Deco facade opened to the public in 1937.

  • Rockefeller Campaigning: In 1959, the Museum of Fine Arts launched a fundraising campaign to create a new statewide center for the arts. Led by Winthrop Rockefeller, who would become the governor of Arkansas in 1967, the campaign emphasized that the Arkansas Arts Center would serve all of Arkansas and encouraged Arkansas residents to get involved.

  • 1961 Groundbreaking: The groundbreaking ceremony for the Arkansas Arts Center building project was held on August 20, 1961.

  • 1982 Facade: In a 1982 renovation and expansion, the original Museum of Fine Arts’ façade was preserved as a feature of the building’s interior galleries.

  • 2019 Groundbreaking: On October 1, 2019, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to celebrate the beginning of construction for the new Arkansas Arts Center (now the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts). Pictured from left to right: AMFA Foundation President Bobby Tucker, Board of Trustees President Merritt Dyke, SCAPE Founder and Design Director Kate Orff, AMFA Executive Director Victoria Ramirez, Studio Gang Founding Principal Jeanne Gang, Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Harriet and Warren Stephens, and Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.

Sponsors

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is supported in part by the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation; the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Board of Trustees; the City of Little Rock; the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; the City of North Little Rock; and the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional general operating support is provided by the Alice L. Walton Foundation; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; and Bank of America.

Special funding made possible by American Rescue Plan Act grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities; National Endowment for the Arts; Institute of Museum and Library Services; and Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.