Jule Collins Smith

MUSEUM OF FINE ART

This is a place that enhances the Auburn experience.

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art has committed to raise $7.5 million to foster the transformative power of art — educating and inspiring 21st-century problem solvers across all disciplines within the university. By preserving and enhancing the collections entrusted to us, hosting contemporary artists, securing collection loans with significant historic value, and showcasing it all in a handsome facility with gardens and grounds for sculpture, Auburn’s art museum reinforces the university’s mission of instruction, research, and outreach. In addition, the museum’s accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums is a distinction held by less than six percent of museums nationwide and by no other university art museum in the state of Alabama.

We think of the museum as one of the largest classrooms on campus. Art appreciation provides skills that enable individuals to think critically and communicate effectively.
Marilyn Laufer, Director

Total goal for THE JULE COLLINS SMITH MUSEUM OF FINE ART:

$7.5 million

We proudly host

30,000

VISITORS

annually

5,500

PARTICIPANTS

in small-group tours

and offer

2,000

PIECES

in the permanent collection

200+

FREE PROGRAMS

for the public

Programs

The museum’s accreditation is a strong testament to its professional standards for maintaining collections, planning exhibitions, and developing instructional programs. With this distinction, the museum is poised to secure larger-scale exhibitions featuring works spanning the history of world art. Sponsors for exhibitions of this caliber are essential as they assist with the higher costs of insurance, proper transportation, and installation. These exhibitions provide more thematic programming opportunities that draw upon interdisciplinary learning, making supplemental programmatic support for staffing and materials crucial. For added relevancy, exhibitions of the museum’s own permanent collections often run concurrently; therefore, it is imperative that we continue to research available pieces and thoughtfully acquire significant artworks through both our collecting society and private gifts to our acquisition funds.

The museum has also established a biennial juried outdoor sculpture program that not only showcases our beautiful grounds, but also makes art accessible in an entirely different environment. Encountering a large-scale sculpture set in nature affords a different understanding of the visual arts than experiencing it within the walls of the museum. Through philanthropic gifts, these temporary installations could find a permanent home as part of the museum’s collection, creating an engaging sculpture park for the campus and community.

$3.75 million

Facilities

The museum places a high priority on visitor experience, so maintaining a safe, functional, and attractive space is essential. As our permanent collection continues to grow, so do the requirements for proper care and storage of our art. It is critical that we meet the challenges of the ongoing needs of our current facility. Donor support is vital to maintaining and enhancing all areas of the museum, and generous gifts enabled a recent major renovation of the Susan Phillips Memorial Gardens. Through the seasons, guests can enjoy this beautiful space, as well as the museum’s grounds, which greatly enhance our outdoor programs. For the gardens and associated activities to continue to flourish, the museum must establish an endowment to provide for this valuable asset.

$3.75 MILLION

Your gift to the Jule Collins Smith Museum has

REAL IMPACT.

The museum experience is important for all Auburn students…There are ideas expressed creatively that are not just 'art people' thoughts.
Laura Mitchell
Senior, art with a minor in Spanish

I think the museum experience is important for all Auburn students. For art majors, to be able to interact with the space and see the paintings, drawings, and sculpture up close and in person is a totally different experience than when you just view them online. The internet has become such a convenience, especially for our generation. I think it is important for nonmajors, too, to be aware of the kind of conversations going on in the art world, both in the past and present. There are ideas expressed creatively that are not just “art people” thoughts. These views are very human and relatable for everyone.

I attended an exhibition at the museum where the artist was working in the gallery on an unresolved painting. It was an intimate setting, so I got to talk one-on-one with him about his process, how he develops ideas, and actually see him putting the paint on the canvas. He was very approachable, taking the persona of a great artist, and making it seem possible that those achievements might be my own someday.

In studying [historic artworks], students are able to expand the horizons of their education.
Dorothy Davidson
CEO, Davidson Technologies

I supported the Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough and the Golden Age of Painting in Europe exhibition at Auburn because paintings from the period of 1600 to 1800 are a strong representation of fine art on a worldwide scale. Having such a collection on display at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art allows those who might not have traveled to other parts of the country, or even the world, to experience these historic works. In studying them, students are able to expand the horizons of their education. My own experience tells me that these types of encounters broaden your scope of world activities.

There’s no doubt that having a top university art museum says something extremely positive about Auburn as a town and a university. Creating such opportunities for an appreciation and understanding of fine art is a resource not available at most universities in the state. I am passionate about supporting the museum at Auburn because I believe higher education is essential to equip all students and friends of the museum with better capabilities for our nation’s future.

Because who we are tomorrow depends on

what we do today.

Give to the JULE COLLINS SMITH MUSEUM

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