The Museum of Moab announced plans to begin a capital campaign to expand its historical, archaeological, and geological exhibits into a new and much larger facility in Moab, in order to tell the full history of Moab, Grand County, and southeastern Utah. “It is the Museum’s mission to present the long-term, big-picture history of our region for the enjoyment of residents and visitors,” said John Foster, Director of the Museum of Moab. “We need a state-of-the-art facility to present the story with a quality and impact fitting the significance of our area.”
The new facility will significantly increase exhibit space, curatorial activities and collections storage. The new facility will also include an auditorium, classroom, temporary exhibit space, and a larger gift shop. A larger Main Exhibit Hall will still focus on the full history of the Moab area. The visitor will see professionally designed exhibits, covering prehistoric to recent times and highlighting the changing landscape through time, waves of human history, and the connections between the deep past and more recent history. Additionally, a new location can include outdoor exhibits, an amphitheater, a picnic area, nature trails, and a theater.
The Museum of Moab initially identified the need for more exhibit space at planning sessions in 2004. By 2012, an updated strategic plan set several goals, including the construction of an all-new museum building. “We believe that time has come,” said Museum of Moab Board President Don Montoya. “We have significant collections that are currently housed in Museums all over the country, including the Smithsonian and the Peabody. Those artifacts are part of our story. With a facility that gives the museum repository status, the Museum of Moab would be able to be the repository of our own history and achieve some of the greater potentials of our mission efforts. We are excited about new facility, and we anticipate that our present and future partner organizations also will be enthusiastic about the shared benefit that this project stands to deliver for residents and visitors alike”.
The mission of the Museum of Moab is to preserve and display artifacts and information, and to promote research and education, which accurately reflect the natural and cultural history of the Moab area. According to the Museum’s first curator, Lloyd Pierson, 57 years ago the museum founders were working toward the goal originally proposed by local geologist Robert Norman that the museum become a national-level facility. “The story we have to tell here in Moab is worthy of that national designation. The audience is obviously coming to our area. The Museum has been building up to this expansion. Now we can really start fulfilling that original goal envisioned by Moab residents when they started the Museum in the late 1950s,” Foster said.
The Museum of Moab is working with local organizations and individuals to make the planned expansion a reality.