About the UMFA

Installation of French Tapestry, UMFA1951.101

Utah’s Fine Arts Destination

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) at the University of Utah is your destination for global visual arts. From ancient objects to the latest contemporary works, the UMFA galleries—newly reimagined and remodeled—showcase the breadth and depth of human history and creativity. The Museum’s collection of nearly 20,000 original works of art is the most dynamic in the region. As the fine arts museum for both the state and the University, the UMFA is a vibrant hub for cultural exchange among campus and community audiences.

What’s in it for you? A wake-up call for your senses, a conversation starter, a fresh take on the world—through ongoing exhibitions drawn from the permanent collection, temporary exhibitions from around the world, talks and panel discussions by renowned artists and thinkers, gallery tours, art making and other creative activities for families and adults, films and lectures, in-person and online resources for U of U students and faculty and outreach for K–12 teachers and schools around the state.

The New UMFA: What Will You Discover?

After nineteen months of building upgrades, the reimagined UMFA reopened to the public August 26, 2017. What will you discover in the new galleries? Lots of new objects on view joining many of the Museum’s greatest treasures, arranged along fresh storylines and highlighted by a new color palette. Fresh perspectives on European, Pacific, Mesoamerican, and Ancient Mediterranean art, new dedicated galleries for African and Chinese objects, a prominent new first-floor location for American and regional works, and more modern and contemporary art on view. This reinstallation is our most comprehensive rethinking of the permanent galleries since the UMFA moved into the award-winning Marcia and John Price Museum Building in 2001.

The new UMFA is about more than objects—it’s about helping you make personally meaningful connections to great art and ideas at your own pace.  New interactive stations and wall texts will not only share the most current research but also inspire your own interpretations. When you need to recharge (yourself or your devices), take a break in the new Trailhead, Lookout, and Basecamp conversation areas, where you can discover even more about the art around you. We hope these and many other improvements make the Museum’s spaces more welcoming and the art more accessible and relevant to you.

No matter how young you are, what you know, or where you’re from, works of art are one-of-a-kind human creations that tell unique stories, evoke memories, inspire conversations, and open possibilities. Come see for yourself. Plan your visit today.

Key Facts

  • The UMFA is the only institution in the region that collects, exhibits, interprets, and cares for an extensive collection of original artworks representing a diverse range of global cultures from the ancient to the contemporary.
  • The UMFA is located in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building on the University of Utah campus between Rice-Eccles Stadium and the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
  • The Museum traces its start to 1914, when a small art gallery opened in the University’s Park Building on Presidents Circle. The gallery was renovated in the late 1940s to accommodate a substantial gift of art from Winifred Kimball Hudnut, daughter of a prominent Utah pioneer family. The new gallery was incorporated as the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and reopened in 1951.
  • Frank Sanguinetti, hired in 1967, was the Museum’s first professional director and led a period of dramatic expansion of both the collection and facilities. In 1970 the UMFA moved into the University’s new Arts and Architecture Center, and in 2001 into the 74,000-square-foot Marcia and John Price Museum Building, the UMFA’s current home.
  • The Price Building was designed by Machado and Silvetti of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Prescott Muir Architects of Salt Lake City. It won the 2000 Honor Award for Urban Design from the Boston Society of Architects and the 2000 Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture from the New England chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
  • In 1972 the UMFA was the first university museum west of the Mississippi to be accredited by the American Association of Museums, now the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).
  • The UMFA is one of five AAM-accredited museums in Utah and one of only two accredited art museums. (The other is the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art at Utah State University.)
  • In February 2005 the Utah State Legislature declared the UMFA the state’s fine arts museum, confirming the importance of the Museum's role as a center for art, culture, and education in the state.
  • The UMFA’s mission is to inspire critical dialogue and illuminate the role of art in our lives.
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