“The Museum is dedicated to the enrichment of the educational and cultural life of Beeville through the concept of art and art education in the development of creative skills and thought.” The Beeville Art Museum, created and operated by the Joe Barnhart Foundation, is first and foremost a teaching museum, providing cultural and educational opportunities for the people —particularly the children -- of Bee County and surrounding areas. Cited by Texas Monthly magazine as one of the “great small towns for art,” Beeville, with a population of approximately 14,000, is home to one of the most ambitious art and educational programs in Texas, with over 3,500 schoolchildren visiting the museum annually. In addition to exhibiting works by some of Texas’s most renowned artists, as well as selections from private collections and major museums across the state, the Beeville Art Museum provides docent-led tours and art classes for children and adults, artists’ lectures and demonstrations, and workshops for Beeville art educators at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. School Art Program The Joe Barnhart Foundation sponsors a wide range of art studies for students in Beeville. The Foundation, in cooperation with the Beeville Independent School District, has developed a comprehensive art program at the museum including: Docent-led Tours of the Exhibitions Art Classes in Conjunction with Current Exhibitions An Art Contest with Accompanying Exhibition at the Museum for both Middle School and High School Workshops for Beeville Educators at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Art Classes for Students at the BISD Early Childhood Center Writing and Art Workshops in Partnership with WITS (Writers in the Schools) Arts and Culture Field Trips to Houston for Gifted and Talented Students Art Camps Every summer the museum offers week-long classes in painting, sculpture, drawing and photography to a broad ranges of ages, along with several one-day camps focused on one discipline. Following the summer art camps, the museum hosts a Family Art Day celebration, featuring creative, hands-on activities, refreshments, and a student art show. Seasonal art classes are also offered during school holidays, fall and spring breaks. Family Fun Days The museum hosts Family Fun Days throughout the year, with activities offered inside and outside the museum, including movies on the lawn, live music, refreshments, and art projects for kids. Docent – Volunteer Program For those interested in leading guided tours, the museum provides training sessions prior to each new exhibition. The tours are organized in cooperation with the Beeville Independent School District and teachers and schools in surrounding areas. In addition to the docent program, the museum offers many other volunteer opportunities for adults and teens—including those students looking to fulfill community service hours. Museum History The museum is housed in a beautifully restored Victorian-style building that was originally built in 1910 by R. L. Hodges as a family home. The house continued to be occupied by descendants of its original owners until 1975. In 1981 the Hodges house and adjacent property were purchased by Dr. Joe Barnhart of Houston. Dr. Barnhart renamed the house the Esther Barnhart House in honor of his mother, and then developed the land next to the museum into a public park, opening it to the community, and naming it after his father.