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Alice Merrill Horne

From the Horne Fine Art website:

Born in a log cabin in Fillmore, Utah in 1868, Alice Merrill Horne went on to make extraordinary contributions to her state. The authors of Artists of Utah (1999) describe her as “one of the most active civic and cultural movers that Utah has ever called citizen.”

In 1898, Alice Merrill Horne ran for the 3rd Utah Legislature specifically to advance an arts agenda. Once elected, she authored the legislation to create the Utah Arts Institute (forerunner to the Utah Arts Council, now part of the Utah Division of Arts & Museums). This established the first state-sponsored arts agency in the nation. She established an annual statewide visual arts competition through which paintings would be purchased for a permanent state arts collection. This collection now numbers more than 1,200 pieces and is valued in the millions.

Alice’s support and promotion of early Utah artists took many forms. She assembled 37 collections of Utah art in public schools, so that all children would have direct contact with original art. Over the decades she presented hundreds of fine art exhibitions in various venues, including her own gallery in the Avenues, the Newhouse Hotel, the ZCMI Tiffin Room, and Zion’s Bank. Her efforts were twofold: to provide the artists with income, and to enrich the cultural life of the state.

Beyond her arts agenda, Horne was a civic-minded visionary. She penned legislation setting aside the land grant for the University of Utah. She was an early preservationist and environmentalist, helped save Eagle Gate from demolition, and fought for clean air.