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UMaine Art Museum renamed thanks to generous Zillman family donation

The University of Maine Museum of Art, located in downtown Bangor, has been renamed the Linda G. and Donald N. Zillman Art Museum – University of Maine, thanks to a $1.3 million gift given to the museum.

Linda Zillman, a longtime art enthusiast has penned and published two catalogs, as well as two exhibitions she curated on Andy Warhol at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. She has also sat on the University of Maine Museum of Art Board of Directors for over a decade. Her husband, Donald Zillman has also been a part of the UMaine community for over three decades. He has held the position of dean of the UMaine School of Law, and served as interim provost and academic vice president of the University of Maine from 1990 to 2000. Zillman was appointed as the president of UMaine Presque Isle in 2006.

After residing in Maine for many years, the Zillmans now live in Santa Fe, New Mexico but still feel strongly connected to Maine.

The Zillmans spoke out on their generous donation and explained their feelings on the importance of the University of Maine Museum of Art.

“[The University of Maine Museum of Art] serves as one of Maine’s premier art museums. In addition to attracting Maine visitors, it welcomes art enthusiasts from around New England and eastern Canada,” the Zillmans said, elaborating on why they chose to award the gift. “Many of these are young people making their first connection to the arts — visits that often begin a lifelong connection with art. Advancing UMMA requires improvements in physical facilities and support growth. We are excited about investing in its future.”

Originally, the University of Maine Museum of Art was located on the Orono campus. However, in order to expand and serve a broader community, it moved to Bangor in the winter of 2002. The Zillmans, who have maintained an interest in the UMaine art community for many years, assisted in the move.

On March 16, the Board of Trustees officially approved an expansion plan for the museum, as well as its new name. The expansion plan consists of five new galleries to display modern and contemporary art pieces. There are approximately 4,000 pieces to be displayed with the upcoming expansion, which will increase the gallery space by 40%.

President Joan Ferrini-Mundy is enthusiastic about the upcoming changes to the museum.

“The Zillmans’ vision and generosity have made a difference in Maine for many years,” Ferrini-Mundy said. “This gift advances the museum’s mission and continued growth with improvements in its physical facilities. The result will be more experiences for visual art lovers of all ages.”

George Kinghorn, the executive director and curator of the museum, is enthused to see the expansion in the museum. He feels as though the expansion will give visitors a new overall experience at the museum.

“The Zillman gift will significantly advance the museum’s mission, dramatically improve the visitor experience, elevate the stature of the institution and propel the continued growth and success of the museum,” Kinghorn said.

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