Category:Museum of Art

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The Museum of Art at Brigham Young University is one of the largest and best attended art museums in the Mountain West. The museum offers a dynamic exhibition schedule that includes displays of its permanent collection, world-class traveling shows and unique temporary exhibitions. The Museum of Art is a four-story, modern facility of more than 102,000 square feet designed to preserve and safeguard the Museum's extensive permanent collection and to display a diverse range of exhibitions for the BYU campus population, as well as surrounding schools and the community.

One of the Museum of Art's most important roles is its contribution to the academic mission of Brigham Young University. From the research and study of the artworks in our collection, to the teaching and learning that occurs in our classrooms and galleries, the museum plays an important role in the academic pursuits of many students at BYU. At the same time, the museum connects to broad community audiences through its varied exhibitions and educational programming.

Museum History

The Museum of Art was designed by Los Angeles architect James Langenheim. Former directors of lighting and design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, LeMar Terry and Stuart Silver, assisted in determining the sophisticated lighting requirements and the best functional use of space. Prominent personnel from such associations as the Smithsonian Institution, the Getty Museum, and the National Gallery of Art also contributed to the design and planning of the building.

These designers' objectives were to construct an art museum that not only exhibited art but was itself a work of art. The building's articulated triangular shape provides a constant change in size, direction, form and light. The Museum of Art is built on four levels and includes ten exhibition galleries, auditorium, classrooms, small theater, print study room, gift store, security and administrative offices. The lower levels house state-of-the-art design, fabrication, imaging, registration, and storage areas. The Museum Café overlooks a beautiful sculpture garden.

After breaking ground two years prior,[1] the museum opened in October 1993 as a location to house BYU's extensive collection of more than 17,000 pieces of art which, due to a lack of space, had never been displayed permanently.[2]

According to a 2004 survey, the museum ranked first in attendance among university campus art museums with 334,774 visitors. Among all art museums, the museum comes in 31st in attendance out of 157 member art museums from the United States, Canada and Mexico.[3] The museum's philosophy of reaching out to the students and the community has been cited as one of the reasons for its success to date.[4] In addition to having the largest university museum attendance, the museum also maintains a high level of student attendance. The Museum of Art staff works closely with faculty to incorporate the museum into school curriculum and student life.[5]


The museum displays paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, installations, video, and photography. The permanent collection contains works of art from many renowned artists including Carl Bloch, Maynard Dixon, Rembrandt, Norman Rockwell, and Minerva Teichert. The museum's permanent collection is augmented by a number of partnerships with other organizations as well as traveling and specialty exhibits. The museum's collection includes more than 170 works related to Jesus Christ. The complete permanent collection has been photographed, and can be searched here.


In the spring of 2012 a new exhibit graced the walls of the MOA. The Weir Family, 1820-1920: Expanding the Traditions of American Art shows American paintings of landscapes, academic portraits, impressionistic still lifes, and more, all painted by three American painters from the same family. Robert Weir was among some of the earliest American painters to be sponsored by Italy as a student artist in the 1820s. Of his sixteen children, John and Julian both inherited his artistic aspirations and began their own artistic careers. During the spring of 2012 the museum showed a Beauty and Belief exhibit with Islamic art depicting the "99 Names of God." Simultaneously, the museum displayed Object of Devotion, an exhibit of alabaster sculptures from medieval England. In another gallery was displayed the People in a Hard Land exhibit, which showed iconic images of life in the Southwest. In the fall of 2012 the museum opened a new exhibit, Think Flat, featuring the works of Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami. The close of 2012 saw the opening of the exhibit, We Could be Heroes: The Mythology of Monsters and Heroes in Contemporary Art. The exhibit features art from over 40 international artists, all portraying their definition of heroes and monsters.

In Spring of 2013 the MOA was graced with the presence of a collection of Rembrant and Rembrant-inspired prints. This exhibit was put together and curated by Dr. Martha Peacock. The summer exhibition, titled, Work to Do was put together by Jeff Lambson, curator of Contemporary Art, who worked hard over the course of several years to create the exhibition which focuses of womens' work and roles in society, specifically, LDS women in Utah Valley. The exhibit was displayed from May through September. The exhibit featured the work of artists Trent Alvey, Pam Bowman, Jann Hanworth, and Amy Jorgensen.

C Bloch.jpg
Beginning in Fall of 2013 the MOA exhibited an extended Carl Bloch collection, the exhibit included paintings on loan from the Frederiksberg Castle Museum in Denmark. The Carl Bloch exhibit was unique in that the paintings on loan from Denmark have never been loaned out before and are unlikely to be loaned out again. Those paintings, combined with BYU's own Carl Bloch collection formed one of the largest and most beautiful Carl Bloch displays in recent history. The exhibit also included works from Heinrich Hoffmann and Frans Schwartz.

From November 2013 to May 2014, the MOA exhibited Sacred Gifts: The Religious Work of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann and Frans Schwartz. This exhibition brought together the work of three master artists from the late 19th century, totaling nearly two dozen pieces in all. Most of the works had never been on display before in the United States, and were on loan under extraordinary circumstances from churches and museums in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and New York. BYU conducted extensive restoration and cleaning of the pieces that they exhibited. The artwork mostly depicted portrayals of the Savior.

From July 11 to December 6, 2014, The MOA housed the traveling exhibited entitled CUT! Costume and the Cinema. The exhibit featured 40 period costumes from more than two dozen popular films, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes, and The Duchess. One of the purposes of the exhibit was to help viewers draw connections between wardrobe and identity, not only in film, but also in real life.


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