History


The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida was founded by Margaret Acheson Stuart (1896-1980) and reflects her vision of providing outstanding examples of world art in an inviting, elegant setting. The Museum opened to the public in 1965. The Museum is dedicated to serving all people by pursuing excellence in art from antiquity to the present through collection, exhibitions, and education for its diverse audiences.

The Building:

The original wing of the museum was designed by architect John Volk. According to Volk, “a museum should give a feeling of permanence and that is what I have tried to do with this building.” But this museum is not intimidating, it welcomes you inside both its exhibition galleries and intimate gardens and encourages you to stay.

Click here for information about the Kapok tree seen in front of the Museum.

After decades of incredible growth – in artwork and visitors – the Museum of Fine Arts embarked on an exciting expansion project. A national search found an architect that would respect the site as well as the beauty and integrity of the original signature building in Yann Weymouth, Senior Vice President of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc. (HOK). HOK designed a  wing that enhanced the current Palladian-style building, while giving MFA the space to grow. The new two-story building sits adjacent to the original building on Beach Drive, facing Straub Park to the north.

Opened to the public in March 2008, the addition houses the Special Exhibition Galleries, Classroom, the Interactive Education Gallery, Library, Museum Store, and MFA Café .