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25 Years of Collecting: The UW Art Museum Collection

June 16, 2018 - January 26, 2019 | Section I

Friends and Colorado Galleries

July 28, 2018 - January 26, 2019 | Section II

Chicago and East Galleries

Don Wiest's Trees at Brooklyn Lake
Ilya Bolotowsky's With Curves


Asking directions to the University of Wyoming Art Museum 50 years ago would have sent you to Professor James M. Boyle in the Art Building just north of Old Main where the “art museum” consisted of a bulletin board that he would display the works of local artists. In 1968, when the Art Department moved into Wyo Hall, two small rooms were converted into gallery space. At this time, there was no permanent collection, no budget, no donors and no support organization. By 1972, a new Fine Arts Center with an official museum space was completed, and over the next 20 years, the collection began to grow from a few Depression-era Work Progress Administration paintings and prints to a significant collection of 19th and 20th century European Art.

In 1990, recognizing that the museum had outgrown its location in the basement of the Fine Arts Building, the university celebrated the groundbreaking for the Centennial Complex that houses the American Heritage Center and University of Wyoming Art Museum. Strong support by the boards of both institutions and significant private donations paired with state funds enabled this ambitious vision. Construction of the award-winning design inspired by the Wyoming landscape, by renowned architect Antoine Predock, was completed in 1993.

September 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Art Museum in the Centennial Complex, once on the edge of campus, now surrounded by the Visual Arts Building, the recently opened High Bay Research Center, and the Mick and Susie McMurry High Altitude Performance Center across the street.

In honor of this anniversary, 25 Years of Collecting: The UW Art Museum Collection showcases highlights acquisitions for the collection from the last 25 years. Today the collection is comprised of over 8,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, photography, multimedia, and objects from a wide range of cultures and time periods. As the basis for exhibitions, statewide outreach, and faculty and student learning and research, the Art Museum’s collection continues to grow through gifts from generous donors and purchases with endowment funds designated for the purchase of art.

  • Funded in part by UW Art Museum Gala Funds and Rocky Mountain Power Foundation

   Rocky Mountain Power Foundation


Left: Don Wiest (American, 1909-1995), Trees at Brooklyn Lake, Snowy Range, 1966, watercolor, 5-11/16 x 8-1/4 inches, gift of Mrs. Donald K. Wiest, 2005.2.6

Right: Ilya Bolotowsky (Russian/American, 1907-1981), With Curves, 1948, tempera, 5-1/2 x 7-3/4 inches, James M. Boyle Collection, 1998.1

Contact Us

Art Museum

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Closed Sunday & Monday

Admission: Free

Centennial Complex

2111 East Willett Drive

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-6622


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