September 01, 2017

The State Fair Community College Foundation is the beneficiary of the home and real estate of Dr. Harold F. Daum, a late retired radiologist and founder of State Fair Community College’s Daum Museum of Contemporary Art. An April 2016 appraisal valued the acreage, home and outbuildings at $837,000.

Dr. Daum died on Dec. 28, 2015, at the age of 92. His estate gift to the foundation upon his death stipulated that the property be sold and the proceeds from the sale be added to the existing Daum Art Acquisition Endowment, which is managed by the foundation and designed to fund art purchases. Last fiscal year, about $79,000 was produced by the endowment for acquiring artworks for the permanent collection. With the additional funds from the sale of the estate, the annual acquisitions amount could double.

“It was an honor to know Dr. Daum,” said Mary K. Treuner, executive director of the foundation. “We miss his friendship, but his gift to the museum will continue to touch people from all walks of life for generations to come.”

Because of a long and steadfast friendship with retired SFCC art instructor and former Daum Museum Director Douglass Freed, Dr. Daum developed a lifelong passion not only for collecting contemporary art but also for sharing it with others. His generosity and enthusiasm for contemporary art and education has been recognized by the Missouri Community College Association, the American Association of Community Colleges and others.

In a 2002 New York Times article titled “Art Boom in the Heartland” by journalist Stephen Kinzer, Freed said Dr. Daum’s “great passion has been putting this collection together … He’s a totally anonymous guy. No one knows him. He doesn’t give interviews. He’s a very humble and shy individual. This museum is really the culmination of something he’s worked on all his life … Now we want to go out and educate a broader public so we can keep this momentum going.”

In 1999, Dr. Daum donated $500,000 to the SFCC Foundation to establish the Daum Art Acquisition Endowment. He donated $2.25 million toward construction of the museum, which opened in 2002 on the Sedalia campus, as well as his considerable personal art collection.

“Thanks to Dr. Daum’s generous funding of the museum building and the donation of his personal art collection of color field paintings and sculpture ceramics, we have a significant wellspring of artwork and art education in the heartland,” said Thomas Piché, Jr., director of the Daum Museum. “He additionally helped to fund endowments for acquisitions and operations, but his robust involvement did not stop there.

“Once the museum had opened, he continued to donate artwork on a grand scale. A significant outcome of his legacy is the role the museum plays in introducing generations of rural Missouri children to contemporary art. Dr. Daum has made sure that they can experience some of the best art created anywhere at a very early age.”

Dr. Joanna Anderson, SFCC president, said, “Dr. Daum was truly a generous, kind and unassuming man. He valued his community and quietly used his time and good fortune to create a place where students can study world-renowned works of art and be inspired to create their own artwork. We are very grateful for his last gift that sustains his legacy for the future.”

The Daum estate, located at 25344 Anderson School Road, Sedalia, is 370 acres that includes a single-family home and a 19.25-acre lake. The 4,000 square-foot Frank Lloyd Wright style home is in the center of the property and has two bedrooms and two baths.

“Dr. Daum’s home is an incredible example of contemporary architecture that reflects his passion for collecting and showcasing the paintings and sculptures he began to acquire in the 1970s,” said Freed. “He loved its distinctive features – pegged walnut flooring in the entrance that came from trees on the property; attached greenhouse; large fireplace; deep plum-colored brick flooring in a herringbone pattern; vaulted redwood ceilings; and a six-room open gallery. Dr. Daum especially enjoyed the large, bricked terrace in the front; he said he loved the sound of people walking across it when they came to visit.”

An open house will be held from 2-5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 10, to allow prospective buyers to view the property that is being sold as is. Offers can be made by sealed bid to the SFCC Business office by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. For more details about the open house contact Mary K. Treuner, SFCC Foundation executive director, at mtreuner@sfccmo.ed or (660) 596-7249.

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