MISSION | VISION | HISTORY
The mission of the Boise Art Museum is to create visual arts experiences that engage people and inspire learning through exceptional exhibitions, collections, and educational opportunities.
To be a vital partner in the educational, creative, and cultural life of our communities as an innovative leader in local, regional, and national visual arts.
- in the value of the visual arts as integral to a holistic education;
- art connects to every subject, discipline, and stage of life;
- in the importance of direct engagement with viewing and making original works of art to better understand the role of the artist and the creative process;
- in the power of visual arts to transform the lives of individuals and the community;
- the visual arts can build tolerance, compassion, and understanding among people and a strong, diverse community;
- art is an essential component of human existence and a form of communication to which everyone should have access;
- visual arts can bring people together for a respectful dialogue about topics and issues of importance in our lives;
- visual arts must be valued, preserved, shared, and experienced to ensure their continual existence for future generations; and
- the world is better with visual arts.
Boise Art Museum strives to be a welcoming place for all, where connecting through art can lead to personal exploration and greater understanding of the human condition. We know that no community is free of systemic racism, and we are acutely aware that art museums are part of longstanding systems that have been shaped by structures of racism and inequity. Boise Art Museum supports racial equity in our nation. Our values and beliefs are more important than ever, and they continue to be central to our mission. We stand united with the voices in our communities who are calling for justice, challenging systems of mass oppression, and working to enact change in our country.
We support justice for the black community in America and grieve those who have lost their lives: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and endless others. Black Lives Matter, now and forever. This violence and grief strikes a chord that again calls us to the work we must always do to recognize and actively fight against societal structures that perpetuate ignorance and hate.
There is an urgent need for Americans to confront our society’s systemic racism. To be lasting, change must happen at every level of society, and in every sphere, including the arts. As a non-profit, educational organization, we acknowledge and embrace our responsibility to listen, learn, and reflect on ways we can further foster an inclusive culture for our visitors, volunteers, members, donors, trustees, employees and the many artists, educators, cultural practitioners, partners, and others we work with to create a vibrant and diverse arts community.
Artists have long been leaders in surfacing and responding to injustice. As an art museum, we are committed to giving voice to individual and collective creative expression, past and present, that helps inform our understanding of the world. It is consistent with our mission to be a place where everyone can engage with inclusive values and complex dialogue about ideas and issues of importance to our shared humanity.
We are dedicated to doing our part in overcoming the historical legacy of racism in the U.S. We all have a role in making this a reality. This important work is ongoing – we understand that it does not happen overnight, and it does not end today. We know we can always do better. We will continue to:
- welcome and engage in challenging conversations;
- champion, empower, and amplify diverse artistic voices;
- be intentional in our work to interrogate all of our systems to uncover and address structural biases;
- work in partnership to diversify our visitor base and community advisory groups;
- participate in local, regional and national professional discourse to dismantle systemic racism in the arts;
- listen, self-educate, and find ways to be actively anti-racist, beyond the current news cycle; and
- learn alongside our national art museum colleagues as we do the enduring work in our field of institutionalizing the practice of equity and inclusion.
Our belief in the essential role of art in society remains unwavering. Throughout history, art has been a vehicle for education, revolution, politics, propaganda, emotions, and subversion, as well as for creating transformative experiences and affecting positive change. Art is a powerful way of sharing diverse perspectives and encouraging compassion, empathy, and understanding. BAM’s current and upcoming projects reflect faithful attention to our community and diversity in art. We encourage everyone to participate as we imagine and create a better world together.
|1931||Boise Art Association formed|
|1932||The Boise Art Association, Inc. (now Boise Art Museum, Inc.) became a non-profit corporation.
BAM operated in the Carnegie Public Library building while fundraising to build the new building in Julia Davis Park.
|1937||BAM raised the funds and built the Boise Gallery of Art – 3,900 sq. ft.
(now Boise Art Museum) in Julia Davis Park – labor provided by the Works Progress Administration, land provided by the City of Boise Department of Parks and Recreation.
|1972||BAM raised the funds and expanded the building to 13,600 sq. ft.|
|1987||BAM raised the funds and expanded the building to 21,000 sq. ft.
Boise Art Museum, Inc. changed its name from Boise Gallery of Art to Boise Art Museum and won national museum accreditation.
|1997||BAM raised the funds and expanded the building to 34,800 sq. ft.
BAM’s initial investment of the funds to build the original building, along with the additional multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns to improve the building, have contributed more than $9,190,000 in current value to the building.
Selected Exhibitions Timeline
Chiura Obata, Japanese Artist
Asian Textiles furnished by Leo Powell
Puget Sound Artists
The American Show
Seattle Fuller Collection
California Watercolor Society
Interpretive Stencils from American Federation of Art
Disney’s Snow White Celluloid Cuts
One Hundred Years of Photography
Oils in Mexican mural style, Alfredo Ramos Martinez
Diego Rivera Original Paintings
Polish peasant art
India crafts, carvings, and paintings
Chinese American Art
Latin American Art
Japanese Clothing and Fabrics
New Mexico Native American Art
Contemporary Native American Paintings
Operation Palette: Navy Combat Artists
Artists of the Western Frontier
What is Modern Architecture?
Idaho Native American Arts
Siamese Stone Rubbings
Frederic Remington and Charles Russell
Art of the Navajo Weaver
Goya’s Quinta Del Sordo
Realism and Surrealism in American Art
Three from Montana
Rembrandt Van Rijn
Glenn C. Janss Collection
Folk Treasures of Mexico
Lone Start Art
Orthodox Treasures of Siberia and North America
Greek and Roman Art
Contemporary Latino Art
Watercolors and Pastels from the National Gallery of Art
The Art of John Fery
Kerry James Marshall
Paintings from the Hudson River School
C. Maxx Stevens
Imperial and Folk Art of China and Japan
Masterworks of Egyptian Art
The Fickle Nature of Bubbles, Spheres and Inflatable Objects
Frank Lloyd Wright
Japanese Woodblock Prints
Lead Pencil Studio
Gee’s Bend Quilts
Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection
John James Audubon
Shoes Tell Stories
Billie Grace Lynn
Wilfred Davis Fletcher Collection
Kahn & Selesnick
Arp, Miro, Calder
BAM embraces its long and rich history as an opportunity to enhance and ensure rewarding experiences for all visitors, through exceptional exhibitions, collections, interpretive strategies, educational programming, a welcoming environment, along with a commitment to being a vital part of the educational, economic and cultural life of the community.