Arts & Life, Fine & Performing Arts

After large contribution, museum gets a name change

The University Art Museum will be renamed after receiving a $10 million donation from award-winning artist, Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld. 

What was once simply called the UAM will now be the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum after the award-winning artist donated her own collection and the large monetary sum to the museum earlier this year. 

“The renaming of the campus museum represents an exciting new era,” said Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, former dean of the College of the Arts.

Kleefeld’s donation will support an expansion of the campus museum, scholarship endowments, research opportunities, and the construction of a new print and drawing-room. In preparation for a newly revamped space, the museum will be closed for building projects for two years beginning in December.

All remaining funds from the donation will create the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld School of Art Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“Kleefeld Contemporary will … focus on serving students and collaborating with campus communities in new and exciting ways,” said public affairs representative for Kleefeld Contemporary Amanda Fruta. “University and College of the Arts leadership are inspired by the generosity of Kleefeld and appreciate her dedication to education.”

The Kleefeld Collection will be added to the museum’s existing significant holdings, which include the Gordon F. Hampton Collection, Works on Paper Collection and the historically important public art in the Outdoor Sculpture Collection. 

Included in Kleefeld’s collection is a vast number of paintings and drawings, her literary archive, and a complete set of her 20 published books. Her writings have been translated into over 15 languages and her book, “Climates of the Mind,” was translated into Braille and has been used in psychology courses at Long Beach State.

“I understand Ms. Kleefeld to be a person who is deeply committed to engaging the world through creative work,” said Paul Baker Prindle, newly appointed director of Kleefeld Contemporary. “[Her] gift gives us a powerful opportunity to move forward and transform.” 

Kleefeld was born in Catford, England. When her family immigrated to the United States, they first stayed at the Biltmore Hotel in Long Beach.

“For my life’s work to be part of the Long Beach community is a destiny fulfilled,” Kleefeld said. “My aspiration is for the students and visitors of the university to embark on their own journeys of inner discovery and creative expression.”

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