The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and
exhibiting modern and contemporary visual art. We promote dialogue about ideas that
are fundamentally important to contemporary society, and we provide crucial support
for the educational mission of Utah State University.
Photograph of Nora Eccles Treadwell Harrison
by Walter G. Treadwell
History of the museum
Named for its benefactor, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art was founded in 1982
through an insightful and generous gift from the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation. The
Museum’s 23,000 square foot, four-level purpose-built facility was designed by architect
Edward Larabee Barnes. Emphasizing 20th- and 21st-century American art with an emphasis
on art in the American West, today the collection consists of over 5,000 artworks.
Support from the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation, Kathryn C. Wanlass Foundation, Nora
Eccles Treadwell Foundation, Janet Quinney Lawson Foundation, and Frederick Q. Lawson
Foundation along with many individual donors have supported the Museum’s collection
development and growth since its founding in 1982.
The Museum organizes temporary exhibitions and numerous public events, all free of charge, to provide educational opportunities for USU undergraduate and graduate students as well as K-12 and community groups. These include class meetings, artist talks, curator talks, film screenings, educational activities, and tour and are designed to interpret, present, and foster learning about visual art. NEHMA also leads programs such as its Museum + Music Series and Family Art Days that are geared to bring together families, the community, and University.
The Museum provides educational opportunities for USU undergraduate and graduate students pursuing professional careers in the museum field through on-the-job training, independent study, and internships.
Nora Eccles Treadwell Harrison
Called "Noni" by family and close friends, Mrs. Harrison's achievements went beyond benefaction. Her captivating personality, determined stewardship, and absolute love of ceramics helped create a world filled with visual adventures. She was friend and patron to potters throughout the West. She was also an avid raconteur of contemporary art, spending time away from her potter's wheel to visit galleries, museums, and the artists whose works she admired. Joining Nora on her myriad travels until his death in 1972, was her husband, Walter Treadwell.
The future course of the Museum was carefully laid by Nora Eccles Harrison. With her second husband, Richard Harrison, she propelled the institution to center stage with a magnificent gift of the museum building and more than four hundred ceramics objects, including some of her own handywork, which represent the vessel tradition.
These objects form the nucleus of the continually expanding ceramics collection, which currently numbers over 1,200 pieces.
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