Anyone who talks to Swanson quickly learns all the reasons why the Springville Museum of Art is a Utah treasure. It is the oldest museum in Utah and the second oldest museum (next to Denver) in the Intermountain West. Swanson will point out Denver is on the plains so it doesn’t really count. He also points out that their museum exhibits more Utah art than all the other Utah museums combined. After 32 devoted years to the Museum, Swanson has the right to be proud. When asked what the greatest accomplishment of his career was, he had a definitive answer: “We made the living Utah artist the central hero of this museum.”

In the July 2012 edition of 15 Bytes Laura Durham talks with Vern Swanson about his three decades at the Springville Museum of Art, and an upcoming book on the collection.