The Jackson State University Art Collection is a result of over 68 years of collecting artwork to support cultural and civic engagement amongst students and the public. The collection began with Lawrence Jones who helped transform Johnson Hall from the social sciences building into the current home of the art department. He then began to collect artwork for the benefit of the art department that would inspire generations to come while keeping the history of its inception alive. The collection began with portraitures by Harlem Renaissance artists and has expanded to African Wooden sculptures from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central Africa.

The JSU Art Collection is now housed in the new Johnson Hall, which is 30,000 square foot facility constructed on the site of the old Johnson Hall. This new space supports to store JSU art collection with the environment that best suits each piece. The building and the artworks utilize for educating JSU students and understanding the artifacts and their contexts. This process will eventually contribute to a plethora of JSU student careers after college.