Collections & Research
“A leaky roof, a coonskin cap, a fiddle and a jug were not the outstanding characteristics of early Arkansas.”
Louise Watkins Wright Loughborough, founder of Historic Arkansas Museum
Arkansas’s oldest history museum, Historic Arkansas Museum, has been researching, collecting, documenting and preserving the best of Arkansas’s decorative, mechanical and fine art produced by Arkansas artists and artisans through the Arkansas Made Research Project.
Historic Arkansas Museum houses the premier collection of Arkansas Made objects, including: paintings, furniture, silver, pottery, textiles, firearms, knives and other objects made by Arkansas artists and artisans.
The Arkansas Made research team seeks to locate and document decorative, mechanical and fine art produced in Arkansas over the past 200 years. The Arkansas Made Research Project has taken curator, researcher and photographer to all corners of the state and beyond. The research team carefully evaluates each object for inclusion in forthcoming volumes of the Arkansas Made book series.
The result is an exhaustive body of original documentary research compiled by the team to provide further evidence related to the social and economic history of the artist and artisan class in Arkansas. Census records, newspaper advertisements, personal journals, letters and business ledgers have furnished important insight into both the range and quality of functional and fine art created in Arkansas. All references to artisans found in these sources have been carefully recorded in the museum's Arkansas Made database, for the purpose of the Arkansas Made books, as well as for the benefit of future researchers.
We invite all who may have artwork or a piece of furniture a quilt or other works believed to have been created in Arkansas, to contact our research staff to inquire further about the project and to set up a meeting for our staff to evaluate their beloved Arkansas Made treasures.
The Arkansas Made objects that we document are vital to the preservation of our state’s rich and varied creative legacy. If you have a family heirloom you believe was made in Arkansas, we would love to hear from you!
Arkansas Made Research Project
Attn: Caroline Millar
Historic Arkansas Museum
200 E. Third Street
Little Rock, AR 72201