Metal Museum receives $1 million gift from the Windgate Foundation

Funds will support the acquisition of metal artworks by living artists

The Metal Museum has received a $1 million gift from the Windgate Foundation (Little Rock, AR) to establish an endowment fund focused on the collection of artworks by living artists. With this new fund, the Metal Museum will strengthen its position as a leading figure in the metal arts field and continue to acquire work by a diverse and expansive group of artists who are creating work today.

Through its Permanent Collection, focused on artists and artworks from the 1970s post-Craft Revival period to present day, the Metal Museum actively promotes careers of metalsmiths. The collection represents a broad spectrum of metalwork, including contemporary hollowware, sculpture, studio jewelry, and architectural elements created by artist metalsmiths, as well as historic objects dating back to the Renaissance.

In addition to metal objects, the Museum collection include a resource library of over 6,000 books and folios and an archive of over 36,000 architectural drawings, photographs, and slides. The collections serve as a resource for artists and researchers interested in particular forms, processes, and techniques, as well as a repository for metalsmiths to preserve their legacies.

While the Museum currently has a small endowment for purchasing artwork, most of the items in the Metal Museum’s Permanent Collection have been donated by artists and collectors. The support and generosity of these donors have built a strong foundation, but the Museum has not been able to implement new strategic initiatives for collecting without significant funds for new acquisitions. The Windgate gift will not only allow the Museum to achieve these new initiatives to grow and diversify its collection, it will further the Museum’s mission to support contemporary, living metalsmiths through the purchase of artwork.

“Purchasing work from living artists not only strengthens the Metal Museum’s collections, it gives artists the freedom to develop their talents and skills,” says Brooke Garcia, Collections & Exhibitions Manager at the Metal Museum. “Through this support, we will continue to help living artists expand their practice, experiment with new ideas, and pursue enriching and rewarding careers in the metals field.”

The Windgate Foundation has supported arts and cultural institutions across the country through grants since 1993. The Metal Museum has received support for exhibitions and programming from the Windgate Foundation for more than a decade. This $1 million gift significantly expands on the Foundation’s commitment to the Metal Museum and will help bring new work by living artists to the Metal Museum and the Mid-South.

About the Metal Museum

The Metal Museum is the only institution in the United States devoted exclusively to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of the art and craft of fine metalwork. This mission is achieved through four primary program areas – exhibitions, collections, studio practice, and community education and engagement. Programs are facilitated on the Museum grounds and at locations across the Mid-South.Located on 3.2 acres of historic property overlooking the Mississippi River, the Museum grounds include the main Museum building as well as the Metalworking Facilities, Library + Resource Center, and private artist residences. Learn more about the Museum and its programs by visiting our website at

The Museum receives operating support from ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Programming support is received from Hyde Family Foundations, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and hundreds of corporate, foundation, and individual supporters.

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