Dennos Museum Center Receives Gift for Inuit Gallery

The Northwestern Michigan College Foundation has received a $1 million gift to expand the Inuit art gallery at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City. The following is a letter from Rebecca Teahen, executive director of Resource Development and the NMC Foundation, published in a recent NMC E-News newsletter.

I am honored to announce to you today that the Northwestern Michigan College Foundation has received a $1 million gift to expand the Dennos Museum Center’s signature Inuit art gallery.

The gift is from longtime NMC supporters and Inuit-art collectors Barbara and Dudley Smith III. The Smiths are among the college’s most generous supporters. Over the past 27 years, they have given more than $2.4 million to the support the Dennos Museum Center and many other college programs.

“We just consider the college Northern Michigan’s cultural centerpiece,” says Dudley Smith.

It was at the Dennos that the Smiths first saw and fell in love with Inuit art. “This is the part of the Dennos that we just absolutely love,” Barbara Smith says. “The artists can take a piece of rock and find the spirit in it.”

Soon, thanks to this transformational gift from the Smiths, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the growing Inuit-art collection in an additional 2,650 square-foot gallery that will wrap around the existing Inuit-art gallery. Additionally, the expanded gallery will one day house the Smiths’ personal collection of about a dozen prints and 40 sculptures, which are bequeathed to the Dennos Museum Center in their estate plans.

Like you and so many people from our community, the Smiths have offered generous and broad support to NMC, including to the NMC Scholarship Open for merit scholarships. The Dennos, the College, and the Foundation are grateful for the strong relationships that foster excellence in our community and make advancements like this possible.

I look forward to celebrating with you when we open the doors to this amazing and inspiring new space.



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