University of Montana News

Apr 25, 2014 3:40 PM by KPAX News Sraff

Large donation helping UM drive for new art museum

MISSOULA - There's some good news for art lovers in Missoula - a large donation to the Montana Museum of Art and Culture will help the University of Montana's effort to secure funding for a new museum building.

UM alumna Suzanne Moore Crocker and her husband Bruce committed a significant portion of their estate to create an endowment that will support the salary and benefits of MMAC directors for years to come.

The gift was announced Friday morning at the university with a presentation and reception.The museum's collection has 11,000 original works, but only a small percentage of those are on display at a time, because of a shortage of gallery space.

"We are funded somewhat by the state, but all the extra things have ton come from philanthropy, because it's been 120 years and we still don't have a museum. It's time we had a museum. The collection exists, so why shouldn't it be enjoyed by all the people that live here?" Moore Croker said.

Located on the U-M campus in Missoula, MMAC is one of the state's oldest cultural reserves. The museum's permanent collection began in 1894.

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