|The University of Montana 2005 President's Report|
One look at UM's permanent collection of art, and Barbara Koostra knew she wanted to become the director of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture.
Now she and the University want the public to see it, too.
The collection is vast, with 9,000 pieces -- most of it donated by UM alumni and friends -- and valued at $14 million. The oldest, "Spanish Altar Panel" by the Master of Saint Gregory, dates back to the 15th century. UM also has been entrusted with the Henry Meloy and Fra Dana collections and Edgar Paxson's priceless "Sacajawea," to name a few.
"Getting a glimpse of the treasures accumulated over the last 111 years was the single most powerful motivator for my taking this job," Koostra says.
And it's not that you can't enjoy some of it. UM displays about 400 pieces from the collection inside and out of buildings all across campus.
"In a sense, we are a museum without walls," Koostra says. "We have art in a variety of places. But too much of the collection is currently in the dark."
UM's two exhibit spaces -- the Meloy and Paxson galleries in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center -- can display just one-half of 1 percent of the permanent collection at a time.
But UM is moving forward with a plan to raise $6 million in private funds to build a museum for the permanent collection, where "it can be highlighted like never before," Koostra says.
museum will include galleries dedicated to the presentation of the permanent
collection, as well as ones for visiting exhibits, plus a lecture hall
and museum-quality preparation, research and study areas.
"People donate art because they know it can
then be enjoyed by generations to come," Koostra says.
Rita Munzenrider, Director
The University of Montana-Missoula
32 Campus Drive | Missoula, MT 59812
phone (406) 243-2522 | fax (406) 243-4520
© 2006 The University of Montana