Utah’s first museum for the visual arts, this beautiful Spanish Morrocan Style building would be worth visiting even if there were no art. Dedicated as a “Sanctuary of Beauty and a Temple of Contemplation ” by David O. McKay, the Museum houses over 2,000 works; 1,500 of which are Utah art. The impressive collection of 150 years of Utah fine art, twentieth century Soviet Socialist Realism and American art, and 15 exhibitions per year are displayed throughout 29 galleries.
The history of the Museum began in 1903, with the donation of two works of art to Springville High School by Cyrus E. Dallin and John Hafen. Dallin became famous for his heroic depictions of the American Indian, and Hafen for his sensitively rendered impressionistic landscapes. In 1907 a number of Utah artist agreed to donate paintings to the school, including: James T. Harwood, John B. Fairbanks and Mahonri M. Young. The students became interested in art and collecting, and began purchasing paintings and sculpture through an “Art Queen” program. Each student paid a penny-per-vote. The girl with the most votes was named queen, and the funds were used to purchase artwork for the Museum’s collection.
Cultural and educational offerings at the Museum have expanded over time in response to community desire and need. A Paris Salon style exhibition was put on in 1921 by the High School students, which has continued as the Annual Spring Salon to this day. In 1925 the Museum, then called the High School Art Gallery, became incorporated. Generous donations from the Smart, Steed and Lund-Wassmer Collections have strengthened the Museum’s permanent collection. By 1935 the collection had grown so much that the students and townspeople raised $100,000 during the Great Depression to construct the present facility. The Museum has since been expanded and modernized with the addition of the Clyde Wing in 1965, and the George S. and Delores Dore Eccles Wing in 2004. The latest addition doubled the size of the facility, adding 20,000 square feet to the Museum.
Hours & Admission
The Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 5pm, Wednesdays 10am to 9pm, and Sundays 3pm to 6pm. Closed Mondays and Holidays, except the first Monday monthly from 6pm to 8pm for Community & Family Night. Community & Family Night is not held the first Monday in January, July, or September. Admission is Free.
Springville Museum of Art
126 East 400 South Springville, UT 84663