The 1899 “Art Bill”, created by the Utah legislature, was the first state-funded arts council in the nation. The law’s purpose was to advance the interest of fine arts; expand the influence of art in education; sponsor an annual art exhibition; present public lectures on art; and establish a state art collection.
State of Utah Alice Merrill Horne Art Collection
Utah’s state-owned art collection began in 1899. Alice Merrill Horne was a candidate for the state legislature on a platform of support for the arts. Once she was elected to the House of Representatives she sponsored a bill to create a state arts organization and to establish a state collection of artwork. In honor of that sponsor, the collection was named the “Alice Art Collection.” The continued acquisition of artwork by Utah artists comes from purchases selected by the Collection Acquisition Committee and generous donations from patrons and artists.
The collection continues to grow annually by purchases and donations and provides impressive documentation of the history of Utah art. The collection is on display at the Governor’s Mansion, the Glendinning Home, the Rio Grande Depot, the State Capitol building, the Scott Matheson Courthouse, and other state buildings. Selections from the collection are also included in the Traveling Exhibition Program.
The Alice Gallery, located in the Glendinning Home and main offices of Utah Arts & Museums, features selections from the State Fine Art Collection as well as exhibits of local artists works.
Notice: The Glendinning Mansion is currently undergoing exterior and landscape renovations due for completion in late September. The Alice Gallery is open, but parking is limited in the north lot. Visitors should access the gallery through the north door via the sidewalk.
The Rio Gallery, located in the historic Rio Grande building, hosts the Statewide Annual Exhibition, the Design Arts exhibition, and artist group exhibitions chosen from community proposals.
Art Acquisition Committee
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums Visual Arts staff works with a community based Art Acquisition Committee to review and recommend Utah artists for placement in the State of Utah’s Fine and Folk Art Collections. This appointed and volunteer Acquisition Committee offers their considerable knowledge and expertise in advising the Board of Directors of the Division of Arts & Museums for terms of up to four years. The Acquisition Committee members are:
John T Neilson
Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ Director, Victoria Bourns
Utah Arts & Museums welcomes public suggestions for additions / donations to the State Fine Art Collection for review by the Acquisitions Committee. The nomination form is available here.