Even before there was an Arkansas Arts Center, there was the Delta. Now in its 55th year, the annual Delta Exhibition has grown to become the pre-eminent juried art exhibition in the region, featuring the finest two- and three-dimensional artwork produced by artists from Arkansas and its six surrounding states. Works admitted to each Delta Exhibition are carefully chosen by jurors who are among the leading figures in the contemporary art world. These have included: major artists like Will Barnet, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Gwathmey, and James Surls; staff from commercial art galleries and art museums, such as the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and the High Museum of Art; and writers for such leading arts publications as the New York Times, Saturday Review and New Criterion.. Throughout the years, many artworks from past Delta exhibitions have entered the Arkansas Art Center's collection. Delta through the Decades gathers some of these outstanding examples. Nearly all of these works were winners of awards, including Robert Bailey's The Beach at Arrabida, which won First Prize in Oil in the 1st Delta Art Exhibition in 1958. From that earliest work to the most recent, each uniquely illustrates the rich cultural tapestry of the Mississippi Delta region and the artwork produced therein.