News Flash

Springfield Art Museum News Releases

Posted on: December 8, 2020

Afloat: Artists and Rivers at the Springfield Art Museum

Afloat identity


Springfield, MO. (December 8, 2020) – The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to present Afloat: Artists and Rivers, featuring 40 works pulled from the Museum's permanent collection including paintings, prints, and drawings, exploring a wide range of river-based work. This exhibition reflects upon the importance of Missouri's local waterways and beyond, as both a natural amenity and as a source of artistic inspiration.

Southwest Missouri is home to numerous natural resources. Easy access to beautiful parks, trails, and waterways is an important draw for tourists and residents alike. But it may come as a surprise that the Ozarks, and the Current and Buffalo Rivers in particular, were at the forefront of the national effort to protect this country’s natural rivers. The beauty of Ozark rivers attracted enough advocates to stop the building of a dam along the Current River in 1949, and to create America’s first “explicitly protected river corridor” in 1964, with the development of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, managed by the National Park Service.

One of these staunch advocates was none other than Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton who voiced his support towards protecting his favorite rivers – the Current, the Buffalo, and the White; sites that he floated on a regular basis and that were featured extensively in his work. Ozark rivers continue to serve as inspiration and respite for our community, and for our artists. Local and regional artists include Thomas Hart Benton, Anne Austin Pearce, Oliver Corbett, George Kieffer, Howard Garrison, Everett Coffelt, Ida Haldeman, and Louis Freund. 

PUBLIC PROGRAMS: All public programs and events remain cancelled through January 9, 2021 in accordance with Phase 3B of the City of Springfield, MO Road to Recovery Plan. Face masks are required in accordance with City of Springfield, MO ordinance and social distancing is encouraged.

See Afloat: Artists and Rivers beginning December 12, 2020 through April 18, 2021. This exhibition is generously underwritten by Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's. Additional financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. The Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 East Brookside Drive. Admission is always free. Donations are gratefully accepted.


The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, the Museum invites you to connect with the world, your community, and yourself through active engagement with art objects. For more information, please visit or contact Joshua Best, Development and Marketing Coordinator at (417) 874-2859 or

Afloat: Artists and Rivers
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Springfield Art Museum News Releases