Through its permanent collections, exhibits, events, and partnerships, the International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) in the Rio Grande Valley encourages visitors of all ages to investigate the intersection of art and science. Accessible, inventive, and awe-inspiring learning through a wide range of art and science activities makes the International Museum of Art & Science a must-visit for locals and visitors alike.
The American Alliance of Museums has recognized the International Museum of Art & Science as a Smithsonian Affiliate. With more than 50,000 square feet of display space, IMAS is South Texas’s best art and science museum. Each year, the IMAS galleries showcase a variety of new art and science displays.
The museum encourages creativity and innovation by giving visitors the chance to interact with interactive science displays and view original works of art. More than 2,000 natural history and geology specimens and 4,500 folk art and textile pieces make up the IMAS permanent collection. The museum’s permanent collection features over 1,500 works of art, spanning the 16th century to the present day and showcasing the contributions of artists from all over the world.
The McAllen Junior League’s goal in creating the Museum was to enrich the lives of people in the Rio Grande Valley via accessible, informative, and enjoyable arts and science programming.
In June 1967, the Museum received its charter from the state of Texas, and in August of same year, it received its tax-exempt status. The Junior League Museum Board signed a lease for a 5,000 square foot building with the City of McAllen, TX in October 1968. A Board of Trustees was then established, and bylaws were written not long after.
Donations from local businesses, civic groups, and individuals provided the initial funding. In June of 1969, they hired an Executive Director and finished fixing up the building. In October of 1969, the Museum opened its doors to the public following a ceremony of dedication. The Museum relocated to its current location at 1900 Nolana in July 1976, after a new building had been erected and finished as a Bicentennial Project.
The New Millennium Capital Campaign helped fund a 2001 building addition that added three classrooms, an art studio, a cafe, a gift shop, a theater, and an interactive exhibit space called the Children’s Discovery Pavilion, which occupies a total of 17,259 square feet. The Museum unveiled “RioScape: A Children’s Discovery Park” in the same year it finished its “Community Big Build” project, which included incorporating play in an outdoor learning setting reflective of scientific and environmental ideas unique to the Rio Grande River. The Museum’s existing display and visitor space totals more than 50,000 square feet.
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