A Tribute to Anton Rasmussen
Self Portrait, 1985 Courtesy: Springville Museum of Art
Anton Jesse Rasmussen, 1942-2015
Tony Rasmussen, the founding director of Bountiful/Davis Art Center has passed away. We as the board and staff as well as past board members and staff are saddened by this news. Bountiful/Davis Art Center (BDAC) began in 1974 as a collaboration between the University of Utah and Bountiful City. After 10 years, BDAC became a 501-c-3 and became independent of the University of Utah. It was Tony’s hard work and acumen that laid the foundation of this organization that has flourished and grown for over 40 years as the largest art center in Davis County.
Through the years, Tony has remained in touch with us at BDAC. He has provided support and assistance with exhibits. The Reunion exhibit in 2005 was one that he was very involved in and helped curate along with BDAC Director, Arley G. Curtz. This exhibit featured artists who had exhibited at BDAC during its first 10 years including LeConte Stewart, Alvin Gittins, Dan Baxter, George Dibble, Harrison Groutage, Randall Lake, Ed Maryon, David Merrill and more.
Tony wrote about the early years when it was called Bountiful Art Center (BAC), “Scholarly and historically significant exhibitions; traditions and favorites, concepts and people relevant to the community of Davis County, were the hallmarks of the BAC’s first ten years. These tenets established the BAC as the community’s bastion of art and helped further a tradition that has not wavered.”
Tony was a well known and gifted artist and teacher. He taught at the University of Utah, Utah State University and Southern Utah University. He is perhaps most known for the epic painting of Delicate Arch that hangs at the Salt Lake International airport. A retrospective of his life’s work was exhibited at the Springville Museum of Art in 2012.
Emma Dugal, current director of BDAC says, ‘Tony has been a great source of support and encouragement to me in continuing the work that he started. We would talk on the phone for hours. I was always so touched at how deeply he cared about BDAC and how he continued to cheer me on in this work. I will miss him very much as will the whole community. We are blessed to have his art to remind us of this great man. Truly he is one of the most significant Utah artists and supporter of the arts.’