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story.lead_photo.caption <p style="text-align:right;">News Tribune file</p><p><strong>Children and their families look at youth art contest entries in February during an open house at the Jefferson City Museum of Modern Art. The museum announced last week that it will begin additional open hours of 2-4 p.m. Sundays for walk-ins.</strong></p>

If you've been wanting to check out the Jefferson City Museum of Modern Art, it just got easier to do so.

Last week, the museum announced new open hours from 2-4 p.m. Sundays, which will allow anyone to simply wander into the building on High Street and check out the permanent collection. Since opening about four years ago, the museum has been open on an appointment basis only.

Chris Duren, docent and manager of the museum, said they've been focusing on group tours where docents can help provide background on the artists and works featured. But in an effort to connect to more people in the area, they've opted to begin looking at more open hours, and Duren said Sunday afternoons are a great starting point.

"Downtown is such a fun, active place on the weekends," Duren said. "We wanted to give a chance for people to get a little taste. And then if they're interested in more, they can schedule a group tour and we'd be glad to give more information."

Having some open hour availability will hopefully get more people interested in the museum and the artists it features, Duren said, noting the artists are world-renowned and have had pieces shown at high profile museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The museum's permanent collection includes pieces from Purvis Young, Thornton Dial and Aboudia.

"It's a treasure right here in Jefferson City," Duren said. "It's a nice thing to be able to share with people."

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