115 Business Loop 70 West
Columbia, MO 65211
The Museum of Art and Archaeology is the art museum of the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The Museum of Art and Archaeology was founded in 1957 as the Study Collections for Art History and Archaeology. In 1961 it became the Museum of Art and Archaeology. In that year fourteen Old Master paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation were given to the university, and the first gallery of the museum was opened in the university library building. In 1976 the collections became generally accessible when the museum moved to Pickard Hall, named in honor of Professor John Pickard. Pickard, who trained in Germany, was the first chair of the university’s Department of Art History and Archaeology, founded in 1891. Together with Professor Walter Miller, an archaeologist and first dean of the university’s Graduate School, Pickard immediately began collecting original works of art, as well as materials for teaching—slides, photographs, oil copies of famous paintings, and a collection of plaster casts of famous sculptures (Cast Gallery). The whole collection was named the Museum of Classical Archaeology and History of Art. Over one hundred and fifty works of art from those early years are still part of the Museum of Art and Archaeology’s collection.
During the depression years, the Museum of Classical Archaeology and Art ceased to exist, as did the Department of Art History and Archaeology, but with the appointment of Professor Saul S. Weinberg to the Department of Classics in 1948 and of Professor Homer L. Thomas to the Art Department in 1950, the decision was made to reestablish the Department of Art History and Archaeology, which led to the creation of the Study Collections in 1957.
In 1967, the tenth anniversary of the museum, Muse, Annual of the Museum of Art and Archaeology, was inaugurated. Muse publishes articles on works in the collection, reports on museum activities, and has in the past included reports on excavations supported by the museum. The annual listing of acquisitions in Muserecords the growth of the collection.
With the move to Pickard Hall (left) in 1976 the museum began to play a more significant role in the community. A friends’ group, Museum Associates, was founded at the time of the opening and has played a significant role in supporting the museum’s activities and acquisitions throughout the years.
The museum is now located at Mizzou North and free and open to the public.