One of the amazing things about being a student at the University of Utah is being able to visit the museums on campus for free. Over the past couple of weeks, I have fallen in love with the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. From all of the amazing stuff in their personal collection to the new temporary exhibits they have, to even just getting a coffee at the cafe, this museum has now turned into one of my favorite places to go to.
Looking at art reminds me that there is so much more out there. Art has the ability to remind us just how little we are and how amazing life can be. I love this museum because they have pieces ranging from all time periods, from Greco-Roman to modern times. Walking through this museum is like walking through history. Looking at pieces that were made long before I was born reminds me that I can get through whatever is bothering me. Be it a boy, a lousy grade on a test, or just overthinking the future, because art has the ability to change how you view the world.
The museum is split into different rooms, sorted by categories. Each room shows off pieces in their permanent or temporary collections. In their permanent collection, the museum has everything from an ancient Egypt sarcophagus to modern sculptures and everything in between. One of my favorite sections has to be the Greco-Roman room, filled with pieces from thousands of years ago. I know growing up I always heard of Romans, but seeing art from that time and place is magical, and it just amazes me that the UMFA has pieces that old in their permanent collection.
Besides their permanent collection, they also have a couple of temporary collections on display. As time goes on they change up what they have on display, but right now they have a couple of really cool displays going on. One of them being the pieces they are borrowing from the Smithsonian. Until October 20th, the UMFA has three pieces on hold from the Smithsonian; one of these pieces is Manhattan by Georgia O’Keeffe. This is probably one of my favorite pieces that I have ever seen. When you physically see it in person, you can see how big it actually is, and look at all the brush strokes that get lost when you just take a picture of it. They also have a piece from Thomas Moran and Alma Thomas. Another temporary exhibit the UMFA has right now is the Japanese exhibit. The Japanese exhibit is in two parts – the first one is Seven Masters: 20th-Century Japanese Woodblock Prints until April 26th and the second is Beyond the Divide: Merchant, Artist, Samurai in Edo Japan until July 5th. As someone who has loved Japanese culture since high school, both of these exhibits blew me away. The woodblock prints were gorgeous and the samurai swords looked so cool. As I walked through these displays I was just shocked by how beautiful everything was. If you have the time to, check it out.
If you are not a student at the University of Utah it can be a bit pricey. An adult ticket is $15.95, or $12.65 for both seniors and youths (ages 6 to 18). But there are a few things that can make it more affordable – the museum is free to U of U students, staff, and faculty, as well as children (ages 0-5), UMFA members, any student of a public Utah university, Utah Horizon/EBT cardholders, and active-duty military families. Now if none of those apply to you, you can also do 5 after 5 Wednesdays, when it costs only $5 to go to the museum after 5:00 pm. They also have a couple of free days on the first Wednesday and third Thursday of every month.
If you can make the time, I cannot recommend you visit this museum enough. Be it a date, by yourself, or family activity, it is one place on campus that you should not be missing out on.