The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts is a museum located in Montgomery, Alabama, USA, featuring several art collections. The permanent collection includes examples of 19th- and 20th century American paintings and sculpture, Southern regional art, Old Master prints and decorative arts. It is also home to ARTWORKS , a participatory art gallery and studio for children.
The current building was designed by the Montgomery architectural firm of Barganier, Davis, and Sims and opened in 1988. An addition was completed in 1993.
The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1930 with the mission “to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art of the highest quality for the enrichment, enlightenment, and enjoyment of its public.” The museum is the oldest fine arts museum in Alabama and was the first museum in Alabama to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museumsin June 1978. The museum moved to its current home in the Blount Cultural Park, in 1988.
The museum’s permanent collection consists of paintings, sculpture, and works on paper that represent the work of artists of national as well as regional reputation. The core of the American collection is the Blount Collection of American Art, a group of forty-one paintings that includes works by John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, and Winslow Homer. The MMFA has a collection of Old Master prints, including works by Rembrandt, Dürer, and Whistler. The museum hosts a broad range of temporary exhibitions with art from international and American collections as well as works by contemporary artists.
The MMFA’s art reference library has more than 4,000 volumes, periodicals, videotapes, and CDs, available to those needing information or doing research. One major component of the education program is ARTWORKS, an interactive gallery designed to interpret items from the Museum’s permanent collection through hands-on exhibits. The ARTWORKS gallery attracts over 60,000 people each year. Other programs for youth include a preschool puppet show; a tour program for every third grade student in Montgomery Public Schools; after school programs for under-served youth, and the AP Art History Course that allows high school students to earn college credit. Educational programming is offered through workshops, tours, lectures, and other activities. From an annual attendance of 160,000 visitors, the museum estimates that roughly half of its visitors participate in an educational offering.
The MMFA receives approximately two-thirds of its annual budget from the city and county of Montgomery, with the remainder provided through the MMFA Association, a private support group. Corporate and individual memberships comprise the largest source of MMFA Association revenue. Additional income is generated through the Museum Shop, special events, catalog sales and program fees. The Museum recently completed an $8 million capital campaign for endowment and building expansion. The new Education Wing, dedicated in March 2007, provides gallery space and doubled the size of the ARTWORKS interactive gallery and studio space. This expansion allows the museum to more fully accommodate the demands of growing public interest. The museum is a member of the North American Reciprocal Museums program.
Currently the museum is working on a multimillion-dollar sculpture garden that will be part of the adjoining park. The garden will feature traveling exhibits from throughout the world.