CSU art museum receives $2 million for renovation

Seth Bodine

The University Center for the Arts museum is being renovated and expanded thanks to an anonymous $2 million donation received in 2014. The extension will be renamed the Gregory Allicar Museum.

The funds came from about 20 donors, three of which remained anonymous. The expansion is complete, and the renovation will start next week. The museum will open to the public Sept. 10.


“We are beyond grateful for this extraordinary gift from an art supporter and parent of a CSU alumnus, and for the outpouring of support we received from others throughout the campaign,” said Linny Frickman, director and chief curator of the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, in a SOURCE release

Frickman said anonymous donations occur when donors do not wish to put out their names, but they are no different in terms of how they are processed.

The expansion was prompted when the promise of a large gift of art came in 2011. Because of the limited space, there was no way to house the gift and show it unless the museum became bigger.

“When this project came to us, it gave us kind of the ammunition if you will, to say, ‘You know, we really can’t make the museum better, we can’t take this extraordinary gift, unless we’re bigger, unless we have galleries that are going to do justice to this collection and to the rest of our permanent collection,'” Frickman said.

With the help of the donation, the museum will double its exhibition space. There will be four permanent collection galleries. Three of those galleries will be dedicated to a new European collection, and one will house the existing collection of African Art.

According to Frickman, other galleries will feature Native American art, a gallery for works on paper that are light sensitive and need to be rotated and one large gallery for temporary and traveling exhibits comprised of mostly contemporary art.

“We’ve never had the opportunity to keep permanent installations before because of space. So, we’re always changing, always changing,” Frickman said. “Now, we’ll continue to have changing shows … but we’ll have these permanent installations that teachers know they can constantly go back to and build curriculum around, which we haven’t been able to so. So, it’s very exciting.” 

Associate professor of art education Patrick Fahey said the University museum acts as an important part of helping students use artwork while learning about history, culture, politics, economics, math and social studies.

“Museums provide great approaches to studying a topic or concept across many disciplines by using an art work as a focus or ‘jumping off’ point for study and reflection of ideas,” Fahey wrote in an email to the Collegian.

Collegian Reporter Seth Bodine can be reached at news@collegian.com or via Twitter @sbodine120.