South Dakota Art Museum

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

South Dakota Art Museum

Parallel form(s) of name

  • South Dakota Memorial Art Center

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Description area

Dates of existence



In 1947, the South Dakota General Federation of Women's Clubs voted to raise the money for an art center so the people of South Dakota would have a place to view works of art. In 1950, the Women's Clubs voted to locate the art center on the South Dakota State College campus in Brookings. Construction began on the facility in 1969 with dedication of the Memorial Art Center occurring in 1970. By 1976, the Art Center became the first museum in South Dakota to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. In 1987, in recognition of its expanded programming and role, the Board of Regents renamed the museum the South Dakota Art Museum.

It is the mission of the South Dakota Art Museum to acquire and care for works of art, which preserve the rich and varied artistic legacy of South Dakota. The tradition of giving works of art to the museum began when the Women's Club gave its collection as the new building was completed. Significant purchases of art for the museum by the university Alumni Association and the South Dakota Arts Council soon followed. Through both purchases and generous gifts, the museum has amassed a worthy permanent collection used extensively for exhibition, educational outreach and scholarly research.

The South Dakota Art Museum has galleries with works on display from the Harvey Dunn, Oscar Howe, Native American Tribal Art and Marghab Linen Collections. Other galleries feature temporary exhibitions representing a broad spectrum of themes, styles and media. Lectures, exhibition briefings, reception, children's programs, films and other public events round out the museum's offerings.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

he Board of Trustees

The purpose of the Board of Trustees of the South Dakota Art Museum is to determine and direct the policies and programs of the museum for the cultural enrichment of the people of South Dakota. The Board of Trustees is composed twelve voting members who are residents of South Dakota. The Trustees are to recommend the general operating policies of the Museum, to approve the budget to be submitted to the Board of Regents for state funds, to approve the budgeting of all available operating funds, to participate with the President of South Dakota State University in the selection of the Director of the Museum, to make recommendations concerning the programs and activities of the Museum, to develop policies for the acceptance or works of art and other gifts, to assist in securing public understanding of the nature and activities of the Museum, and to assist in identifying means of support for the Museum.

Museum Guild

The purpose of the South Dakota Art Museum Guild is to aid and promote the Museum in the community and the State, by assisting the work of the Director and the Board of Trustees. This is a voluntary organization open to all who subscribe to its purposes. Members agree to perform services for the organization as outlines in its purposes and to pay annual dues.

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Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

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Control area

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Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

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