Celebrating our Founder: Eleanor King Hookham

Sep 9th–Feb 13th 2023

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In celebration of our 25th Anniversary, we are honoring our founder Eleanor King Hookham (1909-2003). She was an educator, internationally exhibiting artist, and the main driving force behind the museum for many decades. Artwork by Hookham from the museum’s collection will be on view in the McCormick House, along with historical photos and documents that show her leadership in securing the historic home for the museum’s future patrons to enjoy.

See work by the trailblazing Hookham in the McCormick House Children's Wing including oil paintings, watercolors, and signature ink & coffee drawings. Professionally she called herself El King and exhibited around the world.

Hookham played a pivotal role in creating a vision for the museum and gaining a groundswell of community support for it. Years later she and others helped secure Mies van der Rohe's McCormick House as the anchor for the new arts complex, and she saw her vision realized at the 1997 museum ribbon cutting. In dedication to these efforts, the Parent's Wing will feature documentation about her founding vision for the museum, photographs, and videos of the McCormick House along with history provided by former residents Ray and Ann Fick, and photographs of the McCormick House's ultimate move to the new museum campus.