Who We Are
The Longview Museum of Fine Arts is a non-profit organization which seeks to create interest in, and promote knowledge of, the visual arts throughout the City of Longview and vicinity by exhibiting, interpreting and
preserving works of art and providing educational opportunities to a diverse audience.
The Longview Museum of Fine Arts was begun by the Junior Service League of Longview in 1958, and held its first yearly Invitational Exhibit in 1959. Jerry Bywaters, Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, acted as consultant to the League and juror for that event. The staff of Nicholson Memorial Library sustained the Museum. In 1970, a Museum charter was issued by the State of Texas and the League’s collection was place on permanent loan. The Museum has been located in five different locations since 1958. The present location on Tyler Street was renovated in 1997. The inaugural exhibit was held on January 17, 1998, with an opening and workshop by world renowned photographers, Ruth Bernhard & Michael Kenna. In 2005, Ann Lowman donated property at the corner of Tyler and Fredonia Streets to begin a Sculpture Garden, with a piece donated by Steel & Pipe Co., Inc. Charlotte & John Wrather also donated their property toward this space.
Today the Museum displays its permanent collection in the Wrather Gallery, the main gallery inside the front doors. The Martin-Stoudt (Premier I) and Barrow-Cave (Premier II) Galleries adjoining the Wrather Gallery host traveling or temporary exhibits six times per year, with private members’ receptions the weekend before opening to the public. The permanent collection is also rotated at this time. Exhibits remain up for six weeks then entertain a two week break before the next exhibit is ready. The Judge J.T. Smith Sculpture Garden rotates exhibits annually.
LMFA has a permanent collection of over 700 paintings, etchings, woodcuts, photographs, works on paper, lithographs, serigraphs, collages and pieces of sculpture. Works from contemporary regional artists (Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana) are the primary sources for the collection. The museum strives to exhibit the “best of the best” in order to share works with members and visitors, making Longview a better place to live and visit, and the museum a jewel in the eyes of the community.