Longview Museum of Fine Arts purchases former bank with plans to move

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LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – The Longview Museum of Fine Arts announced that the museum will occupy a new home in the summer of 2022.

On Feb. 25, LMFA purchased the former Longview National Bank and Regions Bank building at the corner of N. Fredonia and Methvin Streets.

The museum will move into the mid-century modern white marble building increasing their space from 16,500 square feet to 44,000 square feet.

“One of the things we are most excited about is just the central location. I mean we’ve been around, and we’ve been in this location for 20 something years. And, we still get ‘oh we didn’t know there was an art museum in Longview,'” said Tiffany Jehorek, executive director of the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. “But, now we’ll be in the center of downtown across from the courthouse. You can’t miss us.”

According to a release from the museum, the building was designed in 1960 by Wilson Morris, Crain and Anderson Architects who were known for designing the Astrodome in Houston.

Richard Lippold, “Lone Star”, 1960 | Photo courtesy of the Longview Museum of Fine Arts

The new location, complete with a parking garage, will be in the middle of Longview’s cultural district and have new spaces for the public to experience art, educational programs and performances.

The main lobby has featured a gold, aluminum and stainless-steel wire sculpture coined “The Great Lone Star” by artist Richard Lippold. A similar sculpture was also installed at the Lincoln Center in New York City around the same time.

The sculpture was purchased by B.W. Crain, Jr. in 1957 for $15,000 and was recently appraised at $175,000.

The lobby also features a 70-foot mosaic counter which was designed by now deceased Houston artist Herbirt Mears. The counter was appraised for $145,000.

Herbert Mears, Mosaic, 1960 | Photo courtesy of Longview Museum of Fine Arts

According to LMFA, the Roger Johnson Family donated the two works of art to the museum.

The first floor will be renovated for the museum, while the second floor will continue to be leased by other businesses and non-profit organizations.

The basement level will house the ArtWorks Creative Learning Center, meeting spaces, auditorium, storage and artist studio spaces.

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