PROVO, Utah — In 1909, Brigham Young University began collecting art when a donor gave the university a painting of a sycamore tree by Utah impressionist painter John Hafen. One hundred years later, the university's art collection has grown to nearly 17,000 works housed in a state-of-the-art museum.

A new exhibition at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art celebrates this century of collecting art and the legacy of philanthropy that has enriched the culture of the university and the community since that first gift. \"The First 100 Years: Collecting Art at BYU\" tells the story of the development of the university art collection through the display of 150 works that have been acquired over the past century.

This exhibition, opened Dec. 4, will be on display on the museum's main level through, Sept. 25, 2010. Admission is free.

\"This great achievement was made possible through the dedication of many university leaders, faculty and staff, together with the generosity of countless donors,\" said Paul Anderson, Museum of Art curator.

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This story is provided by the LDS Church News, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is produced weekly by the Deseret News.