About the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art

The mission of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art is to foster engagement with modern and contemporary art to facilitate learning and promote dialogue about ideas important to the people of Utah and the mission of Utah State University.

norra eccles harrison sculpting clay
Photograph of Nora Eccles Treadwell Harrison by Walter G. Treadwell

History of the Museum

Named for its benefactor, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art was founded in 1982 through an insightful and generous gift from the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation. The Museum’s 23,000 square foot, four-level purpose-built facility was designed by architect Edward Larabee Barnes. Emphasizing 20th- and 21st-century American art with an emphasis on art in the American West, today the collection consists of over 5,000 artworks. The museum’s collection development and growth have been supported by the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation, Kathryn C. Wanlass Foundation, Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation, Janet Quinney Lawson Foundation, and Frederick Q. Lawson Foundation along with many individual donors.

The Museum organizes temporary exhibitions and numerous public events, all free of charge, to provide educational opportunities for USU undergraduate and graduate students as well as K-12 and community groups. These include class meetings, artist talks, curator talks, film screenings, educational activities, and tours designed to interpret, present, and foster learning about visual art. NEHMA also leads programs such as its Museum + Music Series and Community Art Days that are geared to bring together families, the community, and University.

The Museum provides educational opportunities for USU undergraduate and graduate students pursuing professional careers in the museum field through on-the-job training, independent study, and internships.

About Nora Eccles Treadwell Harrison

Called "Noni" by family and close friends, Mrs. Harrison's achievements went beyond benefaction. Her captivating personality, determined stewardship, and absolute love of ceramics helped create a world filled with visual adventures. She was friend and patron to potters throughout the West. She was also an avid raconteur of contemporary art, spending time away from her potter's wheel to visit galleries, museums, and the artists whose works she admired. Joining Nora on her myriad travels until his death in 1972, was her husband, Walter Treadwell.

The future course of the Museum was carefully laid by Nora Eccles Harrison. With her second husband, Richard Harrison, she propelled the institution to center stage with a magnificent gift of the museum building and more than four hundred ceramics objects, including some of her own handywork, which represent the vessel tradition. 

These objects form the nucleus of the continually expanding ceramics collection, which currently numbers over 1,200 pieces.

Support provided by:

art works logo  utah division of arts & museums   american alliance of museums

Land Acknowledgement

The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) and Utah State University occupy the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary land of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. The museum and university reside on land ceded in the 1863 Treaty at Fort Bridger. We also recognize Utah’s eight federally recognized native nations, historic indigenous communities in Utah, indigenous individuals and communities who live here now, and those who were forcibly removed from their homelands. It has been their stewardship for time immemorial to care for this land and all of its inhabitants, both two-and-four-legged, winged and water-bound. In offering this land acknowledgment, we honor their memory, their physical presence today, their ancestor’s presence here in spirit, and we do so in our reverence for their resilience in preserving their connections to the Creator. We Honor the People, We Honor the Land.