Friends of the Museum

Fall proves itself a productive time for the Friends of the Museum, a group that raises money to support the Museum and serves as a liaison between the university and statewide community that the Museum and Historic Houses serve.


Last April’s trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was such a success that Laura Antonow organized a second one for late September, with a few detours to study architecture on the way to and from Bentonville, Arkansas.  Before marveling at the architecture of Crystal Bridges itself, participants toured the headquarters of Heifer International in Little Rock, a platinum LEED certified green building.  After visiting the Moshe Safdie-designed museum, they were able to see two open-air chapels by renowned architect Fay Jones on the way back to Oxford.

A highlight of the fall, Dr. John Wilmerding’s visit as part of the Conversations series drew crowds to the Lyric to hear him speak on developing the art collection for the CrystalBridges museum.



The talk, entitled Building a New Museum:  Collecting American Art for the Crystal Bridges Museum, focused on his contributions as acquisitions and programming advisor to Alice Walton.  Dr. Wilmerding is the Sarofim Professor of American Art, emeritus, at Princeton University and serves as trustee on many prestigious museum boards. 

During the summer and fall, members of the Friends Board were busy fundraising and planning our 2nd Annual Harvest Supper, staged October 10 on the grounds of Rowan Oak. On the heels of the Annual Membership Party at the Museum, guests gathered beneath the stars, lights strung between trees, and falling leaves for divine food by Woodson Ridge Farms, music by Shannon McNally, and revelry by all who attended. All money generated by the event supports educational programs, outreach, exhibitions and new acquisitions for the Museum and Historic Houses.