- Associated Press - Sunday, May 10, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A new $35 million headquarters for the State Historical Society of Missouri is included in a bill awaiting Gov. Jay Nixon’s signature.

Preliminary plans call for the historical society to be moved out of the University of Missouri’s Ellis Library and into a new building in downtown Columbia. Funding for the building is part of a bill that includes $376.7 million for capital improvement projects around the state, the Columbia Missourian (https://bit.ly/1KTvmi5 ) reports.

“It’s really exciting and wonderful that the state sees this as a priority,” said Doug Crews, permanent trustee and former president of the State Historical Society. “A new building and a place here where the society’s and the people’s collections can be displayed and stored for future generations.”

Mary Ellen Lohmann, the society’s coordinator of publications and media relations, said the collection features paintings by Thomas Hart Benton and George Caleb Bingham. Lohmann said the society displays art in only one room at Ellis Library, which means the artwork must be rotated. The new space would have more room to permanently showcase the work, she said.

The State Historical Society also has over 18,000 editorial cartoons, 6 million photographs and images, 4,000 maps and 6,000 Civil War manuscript pages, Lohmann said.



“We have all kinds of wonderful things that don’t get the light they deserve sometimes,” Lohmann said. “We would like to be able to show them more and more often.”

Crews said there are also preliminary plans to include a 100- to 125-seat auditorium. Lohmann said the society will do independent fundraising to supplement state funding.

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Information from: Columbia Missourian, https://www.columbiamissourian.com

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