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History, Mission, Purpose


Since 1970, the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings has been a place for people around the world to enjoy the artistic legacy of South Dakota in all its diversity. Rotating exhibits feature Harvey Dunn, Native American art, Marghab Linens and Paul Goble; as well as exhibits curated from regional, national and international artists.

The museum has more than 7,000 objects in its collection including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, textiles and ceramics. The Museum Store features jewelry, pottery, and original works of art by local and regional artists in addition to books on South Dakota history and culture.

The South Dakota Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). This accreditation recognizes the museum's commitment and demonstration of the highest professional standards for education, public service and collections care.

Mission Statement

As stewards of the state's art treasures, the South Dakota Art Museum collects, preserves and exhibits visual art to provide access and education, to foster appreciation of the visual arts for the people of South Dakota and its visitors.

Approved by the South Dakota Art Museum Advisory Board, July 30, 2010

Stated Charter Purpose

The museum is designed to:

  • Provide permanent housing and display of the Harvey Dunn paintings, the Marghab Collection, and other works of art which shall honor the creative nature of mankind and serve as an inspiration to the people of South Dakota.
  • Provide a program of changing exhibitions of contemporary and traditional works of art.
  • Provide the means for further extension of the visual arts for all communities of South Dakota through a variety of activities which will foster education through aesthetic enjoyment.

Approved in 1957 by the South Dakota State Legislature