In 1935, in the midst of the great depression, a group of eight women from Brownsville began meeting together in each other homes to discuss their passion for art. Those early meetings would lead to the formation of the Brownsville Art League, comprised of men, women, students, and young children from Brownsville, Matamoros, and the surrounding communities. It is said that the founders and the early members of the Brownsville Art League were known to meet in all types of sundry places, including backyards, churches, and even the old morgue at Fort Brown.
In the late 1960′s, the Brownsville Art league commissioned one of their own members, a young architect by the name of Ruth Young McGonigle, to design a 4,000 square foot “fire-proof, air-conditioned studio to house permanent art collections”, McGonigle designed a single-story rectilinear building constructed almost entirely of concrete. However, due to budget and security concerns, all but a few windows were eliminated from the architectural program. After completion, this building served as the new home of Brownsville Art League.
In 2002, the Brownsville Art League changed its name to the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art and began focusing its efforts toward the development of a new museum facility that would be better suited for public exhibitions of art. Today, thanks to the efforts and contributions by of hundreds supporters, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art has completed construction of a beautiful 17,000 square foot museum. This facility, which is located in the heart of the Mitte Cultural District of Downtown Brownsville, provides a space in which all those who walk through it can learn and be inspired by the creative forces of the human imagination.
The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art strives to contribute to the art education and cultural enrichment of the community, exhibit works of art, arrange for and offer educational programs for children and adults, and encourage and develop the appreciation and advancement of art throughout the community.
The Museum’s children programs have earned the organization a commendation from the Texas Art Education Association for outstanding service to the community. With support from sponsors we will continue to build on our success.