380 South Lamar Street
Jackson, MS 39201

601.960.1515
(toll-free) 1.866.VIEWART

Museum Hours

Tuesday - Saturday

10 AM - 5 PM

Sunday

noon - 5 PM


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About Us

Our mission: To engage Mississippians with visual art.

The move

The move from the Arts Center of Mississippi to the new facility in 2007 was small geographically, amounting to no more than a city block, yet it pushed the Museum light years ahead in terms of capabilities, technology, and the overall philosophy of what an art museum means to the community. The facility’s brilliant architectural makeover reflects the Museum’s mission to become a symbolic “museum without walls” – an inviting public space that offers relevant and meaningful cultural experiences to both the Jackson community and the state of Mississippi. The completed building represented Phase 1 of the decade-long plan to transform the Museum’s surroundings into a cohesive cultural district in Downtown Jackson.

The architecture

The architecture of the Museum is a tangible manifestation of a philosophical mission. For many years, the mission of MMA was “collecting, preserving and exhibiting art,” a typical museum mission statement. However, when the Board of Trustees of the Museum began to plan the building process for the new facility, the mission was changed to “engage Mississippians with visual art,” a statement that focuses on community interaction and personal experience. The architects, Glavé and Holmes in Richmond, Virginia, and Dale & Associates locally, applied this new philosophical mission to the architecture of the building, creating a sleek, open design for the once-rectangular building. The Museum lobby and entryway is filled with light through the use of a large amount of glass and by raising the roof of the entryway. Museum visitors plainly see not only the entrance to the Museum but other visitors inside the building, breaking down barriers and creating a transparent front door that makes everyone feel welcome. The vibrant Palette Café encourages visitors to sit and relax, and the patio and terrace create welcoming and comfortable spaces that compose the front porch of the downtown cultural district.

Recently

In Fall 2011, the Museum completed Phase 2 of the visionary plan, opening The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art, a 1.2 acre public green space complete with outdoor art installations, the sprawling BankPlus Green, a performance stage, and various spaces for visitors to engage with the arts in a variety of forms. Symbolically, The Art Garden breaks down barriers between the neighboring arts organizations and serves as a nexus that empowers creativity, expression, and synergy in the arts community. The Art Garden has, from the beginning, been a public-private partnership with the city of Jackson. Numerous private and individual donors, as well as state and federal agencies, contributed to and helped to realize the grand vision. Architect Madge Bemiss oversaw construction, and carried the torch passed by the late Ed Blake (1947-2010), whose imagination and forward thinking years before laid foundations for The Art Garden.

Ribbon cutting of The Art Garden (Fall 2011)

The Mississippi Museum of Art has been a community-supported institution for more than 100 years, and was at its former location since the late 1970s. The Museum boasts a seasoned staff of museum professionals and fiscally responsible administrators who have been managing operating budgets for over 30 years. These individuals have worked to ensure that the Museum’s renovations and upgrades are the best thing for the art and people of Mississippi. The Museum’s twenty-nine affiliate museums across the state will continue to benefit from the loan of artwork and traveling exhibitions, ensuring that even those Mississippians who cannot make the trip to Jackson can enjoy our rich cultural history. MMA continues to expand its programs and community outreach that are already in place.

In 2010, the Museum received the National Medal for Museum Service from the Institute of Museum of Library Services, a federal agency. The medal is the highest national honor awarded annually to five museums and five libraries. In 2010, the Mississippi Museum of Art was the only art museum to be recognized with this distinction. Support and recognition from local, regional, and federal arts organizations serve as reminders of the Museum’s successes and motivation for continued excellence and innovation. The Museum also plays a pivotal role in the revitalization of downtown Jackson. Situated between Thalia Mara Hall and the Jackson Convention Complex, the Museum and The Art Garden serve as the anchors of Jackson’s cultural district, and Downtown Jackson. Visitors to the Jackson Convention Complex will get a grand impression of Mississippi’s creative heritage. Meeting goers, as well as everyday downtowners, can adjourn to the Museum for particularly inspirational coffee and lunch breaks (it sets the stage for a remarkable rebirth of Downtown Jackson). Mississippi has always had an abundant supply of creative energy. The Mississippi Museum of Art strives to be a fountainhead attracting people from all walks to discuss the issues and glories of the past and present, while continuing to inspire progress in the future.

The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

To see the Museum’s most recent audited financial statement and tax return, please contact rpeeples@msmuseumart.org.

We invite you to peruse our current strategic plan, and hope you will visit soon and help us continue the mission.

Upcoming Events

The Portrait: Realistic to Abstract Watercolor (ages 14 – 17)

Monday, June 19, 2017

9 AM – 4 PM

An immersive five-day workshop will explore the portraiture of the Mississippi Story. Artists will begin the week by exploration of realistic proportion and aesthetics. Through the discussion of color, texture, and composition, the artists will learn to compose with the figure in both a realistic and an abstract voice. Cost: $250. Register here. Art supplies will be provided. Teacher: Kelly K. Walters teaches Visual Arts at the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, Mississippi. Walters...

Little Masters (ages 5 – 7) B

Monday, June 19, 2017

9 AM - noon

During the week of Little Masters, children explore the visual arts through various practices to gain experience in collage and watercolor techniques, as well as the fundamentals of expressive abstraction. While gaining knowledge of the arts through hands-on experiences, students are introduced to the works in the Museum’s permanent collection. This fun-filled week will have your child bringing home wonderful works of art to share with you. Cost: $175. Register here. Teacher: Lesley Collins is...

Studio I (ages 11-14) Ceramics and Hand Building

Monday, June 26, 2017

9 AM – 4 PM

Students work with clay to learn coil and slab hand building techniques. Students create both small and more involved sculptural pieces, spanning multiple days. Projects include making vessels as well as sculptural objects. Students’ works will be fired on-site in the Museum’s own kiln. Throughout the week, students also spend time in the Museum’s galleries learning about the work of Mississippi sculptors. Cost: $275. Register here.

Art in Mind

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10:30 AM – noon

Bancorp South Classroom

Everyone wants to strengthen their memory. As we get older, it’s not just about strengthening it, but also about maintaining it. Art in Mind uses art exploration in the galleries to stimulate observation and recall, followed by hands-on engagement in the studio. Art Therapist Susan Anand creates fun and comfortable experiences inspired by artworks in the Museum’s collection that stimulate cognition. No previous experience is needed to enjoy this creative opportunity. Free to...

Hoot and Holler Family Creation Lab

Sunday, July 9, 2017

2 – 3:30 PM

BancorpSouth Classroom

Each second Sunday, families with children ages 6-10 are led by a Museum educator in an art project inspired by a different artist each month. Families are guided in conversations around works by the selected artist followed by related studio projects in the classroom. Families will not only leave with an art work, but will learn techniques they can repeat and expand on at home. Cost: $10 per child.

Internal Narratives: Printmaking & Painting (ages 11 – 14)

Monday, July 10, 2017

9 AM – 4 PM

For this themed course, students will spend a week investigating emotions and narrative story-telling through drawing, collage, painting, and printmaking. Each lesson will begin with the close viewing of artworks in the Museum’s permanent collection, where students will interpret their own meanings of the works. Students will create self-directed artworks in the studio that tell personal and fantastical narratives. Cost: $250. Register here.