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When Arthur Gordon Tompkins died in 1892, he bequeathed the sum of $100,000 to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The purpose of this trust, as outlined in his will, was to allow the museum to make as many free admission days as possible with no financial burden to the institution. He also stipulated that whatever sum was left over after his estate was settled should be given to the MFA for use in purchasing modern oil paintings.

Tompkins also left money to Massachusetts General Hospital, the Young Men's Christian Union, the Home for Aged Men, the Home for Aged Women, the Home for Aged Couples, and the Home for Little Wanderers.

His firm, Arthur G. Tompkins & Co., owned the Danvers Iron Works.

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