News Flash

Springfield Art Museum News Releases

Posted on: December 11, 2019

Springfield Art Museum’s 2020 Exhibition Line-Up Includes National Portrait Gallery Traveling Show

Eye To I book cover


Springfield, MO. (December 11, 2019) – The Springfield Art Museum celebrates its 92nd year of service to our community with a special exhibition calendar packed with local, regional, and international interest.

New in 2020
Framed: The Art of the Picture Frame (March 21, 2020 – June 21, 2020) – This special exhibition features over 40 works from the Museum’s permanent collection, demonstrating art framing styles and trends as varied as the paintings they surround and illustrating the important role of art framing in conserving and preserving artwork. This exhibition is divided into three areas: history of art framing, aesthetics, and a hands-on educational frame shop. This exhibition is guest curated by Exhibitions Manager Cindy Quayle.

This & That: Cartoons by Bob Palmer (July 4, 2020 – September 27, 2020) – Robert “Bob” Palmer was Springfield’s longest-working cartoonist, creating over 10,000 political cartoons for the Springfield News-Leader. Palmer began his cartooning career in 1945 working as a ghost artist on Will Eisner’s comic strip The Spirit. He also drew political cartoons for the New York Daily News before moving to Springfield in 1953 to take over as in-house political cartoonist. He retired from the Springfield News-Leader in 1991 and passed away in 1999. In 2008, Palmer’s family gifted the Museum over 1,000 original cartoons. An additional 30 cartoons were gifted in 2018. This treasure trove traces local, national, and worldwide issues covering eight U.S. presidents, seven Missouri governors, and numerous local personalities.  

Eye to I: Self Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery (October 17, 2020 – January 17, 2021) – This traveling exhibition draws from the National Portrait Gallery’s vast collection of self-portraits, exploring how American artists have chosen to portray themselves over the past two centuries. The exhibit includes a variety of styles and media ranging from tiny caricatures to wall-sized photographs, from colorful pastels and watercolors to dramatic paintings and time-based media. The exhibition features more than 75 works that span the art historical timeline from 1901 to today. This exhibition is curated by the National Portrait Gallery’s Chief Curator, Brandon Fortune.

The River: Anne Austin Pearce and Thomas Hart Benton (December 12, 2020 – February 28, 2021) – This focus exhibition features contemporary Missouri artist Anne Austin Pearce’s (featured in the 4x4: 2016 Midwest Invitational Exhibition) works juxtaposed with those of noted Missouri Regionalist Thomas Hart Benton. The common thread uniting these works are Missouri’s waterways, which inspired both artists.

Returning in 2020
All School Exhibition (March 6, 2020 – April 26, 2020) – The Museum’s longest running exhibition initiative, the All School Exhibition invites student artists from public, private, parochial, and home school cooperatives to exhibit outstanding artwork in our largest gallery space. This exhibit also reflects the work of the incredibly talented teachers in our community, many of whom are practicing artists themselves.

Missouri State University MFA Showcase (May 1, 2020 – May 24, 2020) – Features bodies of work produced by Missouri State University graduate students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts from the Art + Design Department.

Watercolor USA 2020 (June 6, 2020 – August 16, 2020) – This annual summer favorite returns with over $20,000 in cash prizes and possible Museum purchase awards available. This will be the 59th showing of the very best in contemporary American watermedia, judged by Misa Jeffereis, Assistant Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

Four by Four (4x4): 2020 Midwest Invitational Exhibition (September 5, 2020 – November 29, 2020) - The biennial 4x4 exhibition recognizes and encourages contemporary artists working in all media who reside in the four-state region of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. This year's exhibition features four women artists whose work focuses on the body.

Evergreen in 2020
New works from American artists from the 18th Century onward will continue to rotate quarterly into Creating an American Identity, our semi-permanent exhibition of our permanent collection that focuses on the ways in which artists respond to and reveal our cultural identity as Americans. This exhibition includes a selection of 75 works from as wide an array of artistic voices as possible with our current collection including even more works by women, people of color, Native Americans, and LGBTQ+ communities.

New works will continue to rotate into selections from our Asian Art collection on view in the Hartman Gallery. Patrons can also enjoy installation pieces like Anne Lindberg’s titled sky and Dale Chihuly’s Autumn Persian and Feather Chandelier, year-round. The Museum’s grounds also include six outdoor sculptures including works by John Henry, Richard Hunt, Ernest Trova, and John Walker.

Continuing from 2019
Randy Bacon: The Road I Call Home (through February 23, 2020) – Randy Bacon is a contemporary American photographer based in Springfield, MO. He has an extensive history in portrait, commercial, and documentary photography. This exhibit presents 45 large-scale new portraits from the series The Road I Call Home featuring simple, direct, casual studio portraits of individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. Each portrait is accompanied by a narrative, as told by the subject, sharing their personal story of homelessness. Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Anders Zorn: Etchings (through March 8, 2020) - This exhibition presents 95 etchings prints by Anders Leonard Zorn (1860-1920), one of the most well-known portraitists in France, England, and the United States at the end of the 19th century. Anders Zorn: Etchings is generously underwritten by Howard & Nadia Cavner. 

Shawn Bitters: Burn Out (through July 2020) – Shawn Bitters is a Kansas City-based sculptor and printmaker. His work explores the use of language, narratives, and belief structures to establish connections to our environment. Burn Out is comprised of 23 “stones,” on view through July 2020 as a long-term loan courtesy of the artist. The stones in Burn Out form a narrative; each rock is encoded, representing a letter. The stones can be ‘read’ by moving through the landscape, beginning at the Museum’s Amphitheater and moving west and north through nearby Phelps Grove Park. This installation is a collaboration with the Springfield Greene-County Park Board.

Plan to join us for any, or all, of these exciting exhibits during 2020 at the Springfield Art Museum, 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, (417) 874-2859 or

Springfield Art Museum
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Springfield Art Museum News Releases

Scott A. Schweigert, Curator of Art and Civilization - Reading Public Museum

Curator Talk Cancelled

Posted on: May 25, 2017