On October 27, 1911 the Mississippi Art Association formed by a group of artists from the 1911 State Fair. The main initiative for creating the Mississippi Art Association was for the benefit of artists. This association would enable artists to display their work continuously. All of the initial members of the Mississippi Art Association were also members of the Art Study Club in Mississippi. After creating the Association, members quickly created a permanent art collection.
The original president of the Mississippi Art Association, Bessie Lemly, was succeeded by Marie Hull in 1916. Under the leadership of Hull, the Mississippi Art Association advocated for the introduction of art education within the public school system. The Association’s avocation proved to be strong and powerful enough because the Central High School of Jackson introduced art classes, as well as the Mississippi State College for Women.
Although the Mississippi Art Association was founded in 1911, they did not receive a charter until 1926. The Association finally secured a charter where the present day Municipal Art Gallery is located. When the charter was signed, the Mississippi Art Association agreed to share this location with various other clubs and organizations. Although the Association’s space as small, they still managed to showcase their art collection and continue administrative duties.
It wasn’t until 1955, when Morgan Jones was the Association’s president that the Mississippi Art Association actively worked to building an official art museum. In the late 1900s, the City of Jackson created an initiative for a new complex that would be located near the Jackson Municipal Auditorium. On April 22, 1978, dedication ceremonies were held for the building and the museum. In order to signify the new and official developments of a museum building, the Mississippi Museum of Art was officially established in late 1979.
Since 1979, the Mississippi Museum of Art has underwent various renovations to ensure the Museum reaches its full architectural and art potential.
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