umfa mission statement
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts inspires critical dialogue and illuminates the role of art in our lives.
our vision and core values
When we imagine the future, the UMFA will:
- Embrace and champion our dual role as a university and statewide community art museum with an emphasis on scholarship and inclusion.
- Be a destination for visitors (local, out-of-state, online), known for compelling, insightful, and relevant exhibitions and programs.
- Strive to create a vibrant sense of place.
- Place emphasis on education and engagement.
- Be a financially secure organization.
- The role of art in our lives
- Focused decision-making tied to our mission
- Our people
- Research and scholarly pursuits
- Stewardship of the permanent collection
history of the museum
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts is Utah's primary cultural resource for global visual arts. It is unique in its dual role as a university and state art museum. It is Utah's only visual arts institution that collects, exhibits, interprets, and preserves a comprehensive collection of over 5,000 years of art from around the world.
The creation of a formal art gallery on the top floor of the Park Building in the early 1900s marks the physical birth of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. In the beginning, paintings by local artists filled this one-room gallery. Over the next five decades, the art department at the University of Utah received major art gifts and specific requests from donors to remodel the gallery into a museum. After the renovation of the gallery was finished, the University's president, A. Ray Olpin, established it as the Utah Museum of Fine Arts on May 6, 1951. In 1967, Frank Sanguinetti was hired as the first professional director. By this time, the Museum had entered a new period of growth, which resulted in the building of a new museum.
After the Museum's relocation in 1970, its goal was to focus on the continuation of expanding its collections. Events were held to gain support from the community and the Annual Friends of the Art Museum Acquisition Fund was formed. Over the years this Annual Fund has been helpful with the expansion of the Museum's collections and its ability to offer art and history education. Thanks to the generous patrons, local and national foundations, the University community, and the citizens of the State of Utah, the UMFA's collection now encompasses 5,000 years of artistic creativity. Since the mid-1900s, when the collection was around 800 objects, it has grown to nearly 20,000 art objects. This huge expansion required the building of yet another museum, and with the help of many generous donors the construction of a new 74,000 square-foot building was started in 1998. The UMFA opened in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building in June 2001, and the preceding year David L. Dee was named Executive Director. Dee resigned in 2009 and was named Director Emeritus. Gretchen Dietrich, former Director of Public Programs and Curatorial Affairs, was named Executive Director of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in July 2010.
Since the second relocation, the UMFA has experienced unprecedented growth in all areas of operation. In February 2005, the Utah State Legislature declared the UMFA as an official state institution, confirming the importance of the Museum's role as a center for art, culture, and education in the state of Utah. As Utah's flagship art museum, the UMFA collects, exhibits, interprets, and preserves a comprehensive collection of more than 19,000 original art objects from around the world. Today the UMFA strives to give everyone the opportunity to experience different ideas, values, and cultures from its extensive art collections.
visit us links
Free Museum Days and Programs
Arrange a Group Tour
About the Museum
Museum Manners/Photography Policy
Private Event Rental
The Museum Café
The Museum Store
visit our partners
Foothill Cultural District
University of Utah
Visit Salt Lake Connect Pass