Contemporary art programming at the University of Wyoming Art Museum is certain to see a boost, after receiving an anonymous gift of $2.27 million.
The museum’s director and chief curator Susan Moldenhauer will retire this fall, and the gift will create a fund in her name, which will support the museum’s national and international contemporary art program. Moldenhauer said they are the sole museum in the state that focuses on national and international artwork of our time, and the donation will enable the museum to continue to pay for exhibitions, visiting artists and scholars, as well as public workshops and classes.
Moldenhauer said the donation is unprecedented.
“Well it’s pretty simple—it’s our largest donation in our history,” said Moldenhauer. “So we’re really excited about that. It really sets a standard and a bar for us and will enable us to continue pursuing excellence in the arts for Wyoming.”
Part of the museum’s mission is their dedication to the museum as a classroom, in order to educate and inspire Wyomingites, and connect them to art that they might not otherwise experience.
“We’re really talking about engaging the public, no matter what age, in the artwork, for not just learning about the artist and what they did, but how it reflects back on you and what you know, and where you come from, what your expertise is, and what your background is. I have strongly believed that this art museum is here for our entire campus and our entire state,” said Moldenhauer.
Currently, the museum houses a collection of almost 8,000 original pieces and hosts about 18 exhibitions a year.