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History — 1980s


Robert S. Olpin publishes Dictionary of Utah Art, in celebration of the inaugural year of programming at SLAC and the United States Bicentennial. 

New directors see the Salt Lake Art Center through its first decade at its new location. Robert J. Doherty is named director (1981-83); followed by Richard Johnston (1983-87); Dan E. Burke (1987-89); and Allison South, who makes history as the first female director (1989-1992).


Led by a twelve-person Sculpture Project Committee chaired by Jack W. Jarman and funded by over sixty donors, SLAC commissions and installs the monumental sculpture, Column 24, and installs in the outdoor courtyard, the monumental sculpture, Column 24, created by leading 20th-centurey Russian American artist Ilya Bolotowsky.

Lee Dillon becomes the manager of the ceramics studio with Roger Newbold joining as manager of photography studio in 1984.


With significant financial support from the John and Marcia Price Family Foundation, the Salt Lake Art Center stabilizes after a bumpy first few years in the new location. The Price Family Foundation Endowment is established, and board president Marcia Price reorganizes the board from forty-seven members to ten.


Renovations enhance exhibition space with space enabling multiple large exhibitions to be shown simultaneously.


Salt Lake Art Center Guild reorganizes and sponsors the Beaux Arts Ball. The Jan Simpson Memorial Sign Tower is installed in front of the building.


R. Harold Burton Foundation funding expands education programs, tours, and lectures. The Grey Foundation and Ford Foundation help support a wide range of traveling exhibitions, allowing SLAC to bring more national and international artists to Utah audiences.

A flurry of museum-produced catalogs are published, 15 in the 1980s alone, in contrast to a single volume from the entire previous decade.