On May 6, 1935, the Little Rock City Council formally established the Museum of Fine Arts by Ordinance 5235. The ordinance was sponsored by Alderman Henry G. Leiser.
The ordinance authorized the construction of the museum in City Park. The money for the construction was all privately raised. Once the building was completed, it would become the property of the City.
The ordinance also created the museum’s board. The original members were named by the ordinance. They were: Fred W. Allsopp (appointed as a life member), Mrs. Frederick Hanger, Mrs. F.B.T. Hollenberg, George B. Rose, Mrs. C.M. Taylor, Mrs. Frank Tillar, and Dr. Frank Vinsonhaler. In addition, the Mayor and President of the Fine Arts Club were ex-officio members.
The building would start construction in 1936. The groundbreaking was in January 1936, and the cornerstone was laid in October 1936. The Museum of Fine Arts opened in October 1937.