Not over, but on top of the hill

By: Matt Foss on February 15th, 2023

There were no candles. We didn’t sing “Happy Birthday.” But yesterday was an important milestone. The Woodson Art Museum officially turned fifty years old.

This photo shows cupcakes decorated with white and blue frosting

A little Museum birthday treat

Although the Museum opened in September of 1976 and won’t celebrate the occasion of its public debut for another two-and-a-half years, the legal entity known as The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Inc. became official on February 14, 1973.

While the Museum remains young in the context of American art museums, fifty years is nothing to scoff at. A lot changed in fifty years. The building expanded numerous times. The collection grew exponentially. The Museum’s campus now includes an outdoor sculpture garden, rooftop sculpture garden, and soon the Glass Box Studio, which will usher in a new era of providing educational programming for our members and visitors. There are many things to be proud of.

This photo shows the Museum's original building adjacent to the 1976 addition

This photo shows the Museum from the formal gardens today

I never had the pleasure to know the three daughters of Leigh Yawkey Woodson, or their spouses, who as families guided the vision that became the Museum. I can only hope they would all be thrilled with how much the Museum (including staff, volunteers, and artists past and present) accomplished in the past fifty years. I know I’m grateful to be a small part of it.

Here’s to fifty more!

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