The Museum began life as the City/McPherson College Museum in 1968. It later became the sole responsibility of the City. The McPherson Museum and Arts Foundation (MMAF) was incorporated in 1984 but remained fully funded by the City of McPherson until 1999, when it was turned over to the MMAF and became a non-profit organization.
McPherson Museum and Arts Foundation was previously located at 1130 East Euclid in McPherson, Kansas, where it had been since its inception as a Museum in 1968. The building was built as a 1920 Tudor Revival private home. The new Museum facility is located at 1111 East Kansas Avenue, on what was the site of the original Cedars Nursing Home.