Amarillo Museum of Art
If you are curious about the history of Amarillo, this museum is the place to visit in Amarillo. It is run by the Amarillo Historical Society. The museum is by appointment, so make sure to call or email ahead of time and make a reservation. The Amarillo Historical Museum delves deep into the history of Amarillo and the sometimes hidden and often forgotten contributions Amarillo has made to Texas, the US, and even the world. This museum is one of the hidden gems in Amarillo. It is also one of the newest and fastest-growing museums in the area. The museum is located along the tracks of the BNSF Railway. Not only does the museum teach Amarillo History, but it is also located in one of Amarillo’s historic school buildings. A visit to the museum will only take a few hours so make plans to wander around historic downtown Amarillo, grab a bite to eat, or head to another of the smaller museums in the area for the rest of the day.
The Amarillo Museum of Art is located at 2200 S. Van Buren Street on the grounds of Amarillo College in the city of Amarillo, in the county of Potter, in the U.S. state of Texas. Designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, the Amarillo Museum of Art opened in 1972 on the grounds of Amarillo College. It is also known as the Amarillo Art Center and the Amarillo Art Museum. The 32,000 square feet (3,000 m2) structure is owned by Amarillo College. While the college pays the salary of the director, additional funding comes from the Texas Arts Commission and various grants. An endowment fund was established by Betty Bivins Childers to bring the museum to fruition, and the facilities were dedicated to her when opened. In 2010, the Texas Commission for the Arts provided a $1,500 grant for the museum’s Art Smart and Art for All program for residents of retirement and care facilities. The museum features a wide variety of visual indoor art. Special days include live music and refreshments. The Price Gallery of Asian Art is a permanent collection of over 300 artifacts collected and donated by Dr. and Mrs. William T. Price of Amarillo. An outdoor sculpture collection is provided on the museum’s grounds.
The museum is a member of the Texas Association of Museums. “The Amarillo Museum of Art is dedicated to enriching the lives of the diverse people of the Texas Panhandle area, bringing them together for the experience of art through exhibitions, education, and collections.”
In 1967, a small group of community leaders formulated the idea of creating a regional art facility. They had a great vision for the Amarillo Art Center, as it was then named, to “provide quality visual arts programming to the residents of the Texas Panhandle, eastern New Mexico, and western Oklahoma through collections, temporary exhibitions representing a variety of media and periods, educational programming, preservation, and research.” By 1970, the Amarillo Art Center Board of Trustees joined with Amarillo College, a two-year community college chartered in 1926, to raise funds to construct a complex for the visual arts, performing arts, and music studies. In 1972, the Center moved into its new home, which was designed by renowned architect Edward Durrell Stone as part of the Fine Arts Complex on the Washington Street campus. In 1994, the Center was renamed the Amarillo Museum of Art (AMoA). Initially the Museum was a non-collecting arts institution. In 1979, a policy change led to establishing a permanent collection, which now totals more than 1800 works. The collection includes both Asian and Western art, primarily modern and contemporary American art.
The Museum’s primary focuses are temporary exhibitions and education. Each year the Museum presents approximately fifteen art exhibitions representing original works in all media, periods, and styles, ranging from cutting edge to traditional. Educational programming includes lectures, gallery talks, art classes through our Museum School, events such as artafterdark, 5 in 5, and 22HUNDRED which encourage community engagement, outreach to schools throughout the Texas Panhandle, school tours at the museum, teacher in-service programming, outreach to senior facilities, digital programming, collaborations with local cultural organizations and colleges, and Family Days to name a few. The Museum also makes a conscious effort to recognize and encourage local and regional artists through a variety of events. Having been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums since 1979, the Museum makes a significant contribution to intellectual and cultural resources in the Panhandle by committing to excellence in maintaining museum standards and best practices. Public attendance for 2018 was approximately 35,000 and AMoA outreach touched the lives of over 7000 students with the assistance of our strong core of volunteers and supporters.