Fifty Years
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Oct. 22, 2021

About Fifty Years 

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, we have assembled a display incorporating newspaper clippings from as early as 1969, historic photographs spanning several decades, and artifacts from the Michael C. and Mannetta Braunstein Collection. Fifty Years explores the fascinating story of the Barrick Museum from its genesis in a modest building opposite UNLV on Maryland Parkway to the beginnings of its current incarnation as a principal venue for contemporary art in the Las Vegas area. The exhibit will be on display in the Museum's lobby beginning in 2017. 

About the Barrick Museum 

Uniquely located inside one of the university’s three original buildings, the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is entering its fiftieth year of service to the Las Vegas community. We regard this milestone as an unparalleled opportunity for growth and change. 

The Barrick is not only an educational and exhibition space, it is also southern Nevada’s most important collecting institution. We house the artworks from the Las Vegas Art Museum, and we are the caretakers of Nevadan portion of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel 50x50 Collection, one of the most famous and inspiring donations of contemporary art in recent American history. 

Our goal is to develop a core collection of contemporary artists with ties to southern Nevada into an unprecedented asset to art scholars, historians, and Las Vegans from all walks of life who are searching for a deepened sense of pride in their city. Our position within the College of Fine Arts on the UNLV campus provides us with many opportunities to broaden the educational scope of our mission, giving contemporary artists the chance to have their work studied by a wide and questioning audience.  Ambitiously, we hope to complement and contribute to the defining of the Las Vegas art world by providing a well-informed context. 

Barrick Museum Quick Facts

1967 - The Desert Research Institute establishes a museum to exhibit and house its collections on Maryland Parkway.

1969 - The DRI transfers ownership of its collection to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

1975 - The museum raises enough money to move its artifacts to the old gym in the center of campus. The University names the facility the UNLV Museum of Natural History.

1986 - The first contemporary art exhibition comes to the museum. 

1989 - The University formally changes the name to the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Natural History in honor of Las Vegas philanthropist Marjorie Barrick and her continued support of the University.

1992 - The University remodels the museum building and adds on the new Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies

2011 - The Marjorie Barrick loses state funding. Initially threatened with closure, it is saved when it changes focus and integrates with the College of Fine Arts, becoming the flagship location for art on campus. Following refurbishment, it is able to house two important art collections: the Nevada portion of the Herbert and Dorothy Vogel 50x50 and the artworks owned by the Las Vegas Art Museum.

2012 - The Barrick reopens to the public as a contemporary art museum augmented with a permanent collection of culturally significant artifacts.

2016 - In preparation for its fiftieth anniversary, the Barrick officially becomes the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art.

The Fifty Years display was organized by Allen Linnabary, Barrick staff and UNLV Graduate History Student. Special thanks to Richard Zwiercan, Kathleen Marx, and Aaron Mayes from UNLV University Libraries Special Collections and Digital Collections.