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The Museum of Art and Archaeology was founded in 1957 and was originally called the Study Collections for Art History and Archaeology. In 1961 it was renamed, the Museum of Art and Archaeology. The museum closed in the fall of 2013 and moved to a different building because the original building (Pickard Hall) was filled with radiation, due to its previous use as a chemistry lab. The museum’s collection, along with the Department of Art History and Archaeology, moved to Mizzou North, and occupies a wing of the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center building at Business Loop 70 East and North Garth Avenue. The museum offers artifacts and art works that display human civilizations from six different continents. This museum also offers several activities for children, and those with special needs.


  • The Cast Gallery
  • A few works of art displayed at the museum
  • Bust art at the museum
  • View of Pickard Hall on U of Missouri campus, former location of museum

The Museum of Art and Archaeology was founded in 1957 and was originally called the Study Collections for Art History and Archaeology. In 1961 it was renamed, the Museum of Art and Archaeology. In 1961, fourteen Old Master paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation were given to the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the first gallery was opened in the university’s library. In 1976 the collection became available to the public when the museum moved to Pickard Hall, which is named after Professor John Pickard, who was the first chair of the university’s Department of Art History and Archaeology. With the help of Professor Walter Miller, Pickard was able to collect original works of art, as well as materials for teaching. These items include: slides, photographs, oil copies of famous paintings, and a collection of plaster casts of famous sculptures. The entire collection was named the Museum of Classical Archaeology and History of Art. Over one hundred and fifty works of art from his collection are still included in the Museum of Art and Archaeology’s collection.

During the years of the Depression, the Museum of Classical Archaeology and Art ceased to exist, as well as the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. However, in 1948, the decision to reestablish the university’s Department of Art History and Archaeology was made. This led to the creation of the Study Collections in 1957. The museum’s newspaper, Muse: Annual of the Museum of Art and Archaeology, was inaugurated in 1967. Muse creates and distributes articles on works of art in the collection, and they also report on museum activities.

The museum closed in the fall of 2013 and moved to a different building because the original building was filled with radiation, due to its previous use as a chemistry lab; changing standards for radiation exposure prompted the move. The museum’s collection, along with the Department of Art History and Archaeology, moved to Mizzou North, which was the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center building. Renovations in the new location cost $1.5 million and were completed by 2015. The museum is a vital part in the education of Missouri University, and is free to the public. The museum shop has closed indefinitely. The new location is convenient to Interstate 70 and attracts more non-university visitors as well. The University of Missouri-Columbia announced in 2019 that they intend to demolish Pickard Hall in the next two years and will rebuild, keeping in character with the historic nature of Francis Quadrangle while designing the new structure.

This museum offers artifacts and art works that display human civilizations from six different continents. The museum also obtains many works by several major art movements, as well as works from unnamed artists of the ancient world. The Cast Gallery consists of sculptures and pieces of art that emulate Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. This museum also offers activities for kids, such as classic films, and informational lectures. Admissions to the museum and most of the events are free and open to everyone. 

Basi, Christian. Pickard Hall to be demolished, Mizzou News. November 14th 2019. Accessed March 18th 2020. https://news.missouri.edu/2019/pickard-hall-to-be-demolished/.

University of Missouri-Columbia, College of Arts & Sciences. Home, Museum of Art and Archaeology. January 1st 2019. Accessed March 18th 2020. https://maa.missouri.edu/.

White, M. P.. "More than a year later, Museum of Art and Archaeology still adjusting at Mizzou North." Missourian (Columbia, MO) August 12th 2016. online ed, Local news sec.