February 4-December 21, 2023

Highlights of the Decades from the WFMA

Opened in 1967, the Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center collected history, science, photography, and art. In 2005, the museum merged with Midwestern State University and within a year decided to focus on art, becoming the Wichita Falls Museum of Art.

Over the last fifty-six years, the Wichita Falls Museum of Art has amassed over 1700 pieces of art through purchases and generous donations. This exhibition highlights a selection of artworks acquired each decade in this journey.

Purchases of artwork began in 1968 through the museum’s Art Acquisition Committee. Later In 1975, eight years into its existence, the museum received matching grant funds from the National Endowment of the Arts to help purchase artwork. This grant provided a one-to-one match for every dollar the museum raised toward art purchases. Many of the collection's cornerstone artworks were acquired through this grant program. The WFMA collection would eventually become known as a 'profound collection of Amercian art.

Over the years, the museum would maintain an endowment for collecting which continued until the merger with Midwestern State University. Collecting slowed after the merger in 2005, but in 2010 a new program, The Collectors Circle, was created. The Collectors Circle was formed by community donors who meet once a year to vote on potential purchases brought forward by the museum's Curator of Collections. The Collectors Circle has met annually; except for one year during COVID and has purchased 94 artworks since its inception. Through this collecting effort, the representation of female artists and artists of color has increased dramatically.

Early in its seventh decade of collecting, the WFMA is poised to continue its education mission as an advocate for the power of art to enrich lives and connect communities. This increasingly diverse collection stands as an unwavering educational asset to future generations of patrons.



Caledonia Curry, Alison the Lacemaker, 2016, 4 color screen print (inc. metallic gold) on handmade tea-stained jute paper; Collectors Circle purchase, 2021.

Franklin De Haven, Landscape, Oil on canvas; Museum purchase, 2008.