64 Parishes

Masur Museum of Art

Monroe’s Marvelous Masur

An impressive art collection in a locally unique historic house

Published: March 1, 2019
Last Updated: May 31, 2019

Monroe’s Marvelous Masur

Photo by Charlie Heck.

The Masur Museum.

Northeast Louisiana is home to a flourishing arts community, with theater and ballet companies, a symphony orchestra, a thriving art studio and gallery scene, and several quality museums. The Masur Museum of Art is a standout among these institutions, located in a stunning modified Tudor estate on the southern edge of downtown Monroe along the Ouachita River. The building was constructed by Clarence and Mabel Slagle in 1929 and purchased by Sigmund and Beatrice Masur in the early 1930s. With its Indiana limestone walls, Pennsylvania blue slate roof, and sculptures decorating the yard, the locally unique building attracts the curious. Inside, the cozy galleries and original floors, crown molding, arched doorways, and fireplaces add special and unexpected touches to the art-viewing experience.

The Masur children donated their family home to the City of Monroe in 1963 to become the area’s fine art museum. Through the hard work of volunteers and docents, the museum began exhibiting artworks, holding competitions, and building its permanent collection. In 1974, the Twin City Art Foundation formed to provide additional support in organizing and funding the museum and its programs. To this day, the Masur Museum operates through this partnership between the City of Monroe and the Twin City Art Foundation.

Visitors this spring will see an exhibition showcasing the winners of the 56th Annual Juried Competition. The competition has changed much over its history but remains the Masur Museum’s longest-running and best-loved tradition. One of the earliest competitions featured the work of renowned abstract painter and Louisiana native Ida Kohlmeyer, whose winning painting Immanence was quickly acquired as the first work in the Masur Museum’s permanent collection and started the museum’s long history of collecting. Today, the Masur Museum cares for approximately five hundred works of art, predominantly representing major artistic movements of the twentieth century and with a special focus on regional artists.

The Annual Juried Competition exhibition is the Masur’s most celebrated event of the year—and its most unpredictable. Every year, a guest juror from a different museum or gallery is invited to make selections from hundreds of submissions. Submitted works must have been completed within the previous two years, so the juror is always guaranteed a brand-new pool of the latest in American contemporary art. The Masur Museum was thrilled to have Catherine Futter, the Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, make the selections for the current exhibition. This diverse and exciting exhibition will be on display through May 11, 2019.