The collection has diverse treasures. Like many other Texas institutions built in the early and mid '70s the Museum began in 1972 as a non-collecting institution. However, by 1979 the Board of Trustees had established collection policies and since that time the Museum's holdings have grown steadily. The earliest collection focus was early American Modernist paintings and today the collection is best represented in this area by the four Georgia O'Keeffe watercolors and several works by John Marin. These works are in the context of other members of their circle such as Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and Alfred Stieglitz. Mid-century Modernists are represented by a particularly nice Franz Kline and important pieces by Louise Nevelson and Helen Frankenthaler.
A small group of European paintings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries are best represented by two excellent paintings from the mid 1700s by the Italian painter Francesco Guardi.
The photography holdings are dominated by the work of F.S.A. photographer Russell Lee, however, excellent examples of his colleagues Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Jack Delano and Marion Post Wolcott are included.
Since 1995 the Museum's Asian art collection has grown dramatically through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Price of Amarillo. The collection includes representative textiles from every primary weaving area of the Middle East with examples from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. A comprehensive selection of Edo period Japanese wood block prints by all the major artists is in place and being added to yearly by the Prices. Of particular interest are the South and Southeast Asian sculpture holdings in this collection. Again, this area continues to grow, but currently the collection has Buddhist and Hindu pieces ranging from 2nd century B.C. Gandharan works to 9th century Java and 14th century Khmer sculpture.