Gorman Museum Move Set for 2021

Gorman sign
The C.N. Gorman Museum will have a new home in 2021. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Gift of $250,000 Aids Expansion

Volunteer leadership is helping to ensure the longevity of the venerable C.N. Gorman Museum and its smooth transition to the former Nelson Gallery space on campus, increasing its footprint from 3,500 to 9,000 square feet.

Gallery square footage will expand to 4,000 square feet, enabling the museum to display 2,500 pieces of its collection when it opens in 2021.

Longtime arts champions Bill and Nancy Roe recently pledged $250,000 toward its expansion.

“The new space will further elevate our teaching and research mission, amplify our impact, and create a showcase for contemporary Native American and indigenous fine art.”  — Elizabeth Spiller, dean, College of Letters and Science

“We are so grateful to Nancy and Bill for this critical foundational support of the museum,”  Spiller added.

The C.N. Gorman Museum was founded in 1973 by the Department of Native American Studies in honor of retired faculty member Carl Nelson Gorman, a Navajo artist, World War II Code Talker, cultural historian, and advocate for Native peoples. A founding member of Native American Studies in 1969, Gorman was the first faculty member to teach Native American art at UC Davis.

The museum has been located in a one-room gallery in Hart Hall since 1992. 

The expansion will include additional display cases  — making more of the collections accessible to visitors.

The Roes have been leaders for years in support of the arts in Davis and on campus, volunteering and making previous gifts to both the Gorman and the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art.

“The Roes are a treasure in the Davis community. We are particularly grateful to Nancy for serving as a member of our Dean’s Advisory Council for nearly a decade,” said Spiller.

Nancy graduated from Davis High School and enjoyed a long career as an elementary school teacher. Bill is a founding partner and co-owner of Davis-based real estate management company Tandem Properties. 

For more information on how you might support the Gorman Museum’s expansion, contact Charlene Mattison, assistant dean of college relations and development, at cmattison@ucdavis.edu.

Gorman art
Holly Wilson, Bloodlines, (2011) at the C.N. Gorman Museum.

This article is based on an article in the fall 2019 issue of the College of Letters and Science Magazine

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