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Davis, California

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

UC Davis receives $10 million donation toward art museum

UC Davis recently received a donation of $10 million to go toward the construction of a new art museum.

Named after donors Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Farrow, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Farrow Museum of Art is slated for completion in 2015. The museum is part of the plan for the university’s new south entrance, with construction planned for a 1.6 acre site adjacent to the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the UC Davis Conference Center and Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. Hall.

Shrem and Manetti Farrow’s donation contributes to the $30 million the university plans to raise through endowments and interest earnings for the construction project, and allows for the design phase of the project to be launched.

Including Shrem and Manetti Farrow’s gift, $12.1 million has been raised to date.

“The museum will be a unique and vital contribution both to the university and the region,” said Jessie Ann Owens, dean of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies. “It will support joint programming, exhibitions and other opportunities to foster engagement with neighboring collections, artists and art organizations.”

The 40,000 square foot space will house the university’s fine arts collection, which contains more than 4,000 works of art. Visitors will have access to collections that are currently unavailable due to lack of space.

In addition to art galleries, the museum will provide space for seminars, public gatherings and research.

Shrem is the proprietor of Clos Pegase winery in Napa Valley and a member of the Director’s Circle for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His friend Manetti Farrow grows and collects fine wines and produces premium vinegar and olive oil. Both are recognized for their philanthropic efforts.

“We believe that education and the arts should be accessible to all people,” Shrem said in a press release. “And we believe that a curious and open mind should be nurtured and supported. Fortunately, the project at UC Davis has introduced us to people who profoundly share this philosophy. It is with deepest pleasure that we are able to help bring this new museum to life.”

Manetti Farrow agreed.

“Everything that is being planned for the new museum of art suggests it will become an integral part of the university, the curriculum and the community,” Manetti Farrow said in a press release. “We also believe it will become the heart of the campus, a place where people can come to study, to learn, to look and to be moved by the beauty and strength of the arts.”

Dean Owens hopes that aside from simply becoming a teaching and cultural resource, the museum will be a catalyst for new programs, including museum studies, curatorial studies and art preservation.

“The location of the museum at the university’s ‘front door’ places it in a neighborhood of other signature university facilities that offer unparalleled advantages for the museum to become a hub for collaborative programs, cultural understanding and learning,” Owens said.

STEPHANIE B. NGUYEN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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