8115 Frenchman's Lane
Little Rock, AR 72209
Phone: (501) 562-9383
Fax: (501) 562-2039
Arts & Museums
The Fine Arts Building at the Arkansas University Avenue has a host of galleries featuring works of established as well as budding Arkansan artists. Three different galleries are located over two floors, hosting varied kinds of work from contemporary to fine art. With a collection of over 600 works scattered around the campus, there's a lot to be appreciated. If that isn't enough, viewing the esteemed works is free of charge! For more information, call or check the gallery website before visiting.
Located in Little Rock, the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is run in partnership with Little Rock public schools and the National Park Service. This regular high school came into the public eye when it was the site of desegregation in public schools during the Civil Rights Movement in 1957. The event gained national attention for its controversy, with many white Americans still being staunchly anti-integration at the time. After several attempts to enter and attend the school that were thwarted by violence, nine African-American students were finally escorted into the school by the U.S Army's 101st Airborne Division. This event truly helped change the country and provide a huge step towards equal civil rights in the American South, and all over the country. The site has a visitor center that displays a film and various exhibits centered around the Civil Rights Movement. Apart from this, there is a garden which has nine trees planted in honor of the Little Rock 9, who were at the center of the Little Rock Integration Crisis.
The artwork in this gallery is breathtaking. You will find a wide range of sculptures, paintings and drawings by African-American artists. From James Ayers' emotionally-charged works to Euneda Otis' paintings depicting everyday scenes from the lives of Southern African-Americans, these pieces are collector-worthy. A special note: the bookstore sells hard-to-find, out-of-print books by African-American authors, some of which are autographed. The gallery also regularly hosts events. Call or visit its web site for details.
Built with over 300,000 bricks salvaged from other buildings, the Arkansas Governor's Mansion was completed in 1950. This grand Georgian colonial mansion sits on 8 pristine acres (3 hectares) of manicured herb gardens maintained by the National Herb Society. Visitors can partake in guided tours on Tuesday and Thursday and must be scheduled one day in advance. The tours are completely free and include a visit to all rooms deemed public.
This new museum, located in the historic Quapaw District, teaches the history of African American Arkansans, beginning with Civil War times. As you stroll through the museum, which is set in a historic neo-Gothic church building, you will be drawn into the stories of people who made a significant impact on Arkansas' history.
See where Bill Clinton governed before becoming president. The Arkansas State Capitol Building's design was actually intended to be the Montana State Capitol after a competition was held to find a new design. However, the Montana capitol was never built, and the architect brought his design to Arkansas instead. The rest is history. The neoclassical building is made of Arkansas limestone, has a large dome and bronze front doors from Tiffany New York. Today, for visitors the capitol has exhibits on Arkansas' history, culture and government. At Christmas, come see the towering tree that fills the rotunda, as well as the lights decorating the outside of the capitol.
Exploring the African American history in Arkansas, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is housed in a new state-of-the-art museum located downtown. Here visitors can get a glimpse at the past, from recordings of first-hand stories of segregation in the South, to the achievements made by African Americans in the fields of politics, business and the arts since 1870 to present day. This is one of the best free museums in the city and truly worth a visit.
Located in the two-story 1840 Pike-Fletcher-Terry mansion, the Arkansas Arts Center is the cultural focus of Little Rock. Rotating exhibits of paintings, photographs and sculptures feature both local artists and renowned masters. The center boasts an eclectic gift shop, the upscale Best Impressions Restaurant and the Children's Little Theatre, which stages several theatrical productions a year. Check website for details on upcoming events.
Learn about the sacrifices made by brave Arkansans from the time the state was just a territory in the early 1800s up through the present day. This museum is fittingly situated in the historic Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal, which was built in 1840 to ward off attacks by Indians. The museum includes exhibits detailing the state's military history. Admission is free.
The Local Color Gallery hosts works of over 20 artists in and around the Arkansas area. Suited for both the experienced art observer and the novice, the works have a proper mix of the simple and the breathtaking. Classic oils, pastels, watercolors and other mediums are used to adorn the canvas and beyond. The gallery hosts a range of events from time to time, providing timely updates for the works on its walls. At times, the simple becomes a breath of fresh-air. Nothing underlines that more than the Local Color Gallery.
Discover the secrets of Arkansas' history in the oldest still-standing state capitol building west of the Mississippi River. Peruse permanent exhibits of Arkansas' women, President Clinton's journey to Washington, the first Arkansas House of Representatives, Arkansas' first families, period rooms and the State House's history. Special exhibits change various times per year, always featuring fascinating subject matter about the Natural State. Visitors may either take a self-guided tour of the museum or take one of the guided tours available each hour. Admission is free.
Journey back to the days before the Civil War forever changed Arkansas' history. The Historic Arkansas Museum, formerly known as the Arkansas Territorial Restoration, has preserved five antebellum homes, including the area's oldest building, the 1827 Hinderliter Grog Shop. Guests enjoy a guided living-history tour through the grounds as they learn the history of each building. The museum features several Arkansas art galleries and an interactive children's gallery.