April 16, 2021 Taos, New Mexico

The Harwood Museum of Art

Masthead image Menu
April 27, 2010

Harwood Museum of Art Announces Gift from Arthur Bell Youth Foundation

TAOS, NEW MEXICO (April, 2010)—The University of New Mexico’s Harwood Museum of Art announces that a generous gift has been received from the Arthur Bell Youth Foundation, and that upon completion of the museum’s current expansion, the new auditorium will be named The Arthur Bell Auditorium.

The gift comes by the way of Dr. Robert Bell and family who comprise the Arthur Bell Foundation’s board of trustees. A resident of Santa Fe, Dr. Bell, a life-long patron of the arts and one of the region’s leading experts on printmaking and collecting, often lectures at Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM, and The Harwood Museum in Taos.

Dr. Bell’s elder brother, Arthur Bell, (1943-2006) who established the foundation, was keenly interested in creating access for children to the arts. In keeping with his wishes, the Bell family believes the new Harwood auditorium will deliver on this promise by providing opportunities for young people to be exposed to a wide range of art activities.

“Our family has been inspired by the arts for three generations,” says Dr. Bell. “My father, Arthur Bell, Sr., who was raised in New York City, had a passion for artistic creativity that lives on in us today. I know that my brother would be so pleased to have his name associated with the Harwood Museum, for the good and important work they are doing by giving young people real access to the arts.”

Arthur Bell grew up in Pontiac, Michigan, and showed an early mechanical aptitude for automotive engineering. In high school he spent summers working on the General Motors assembly lines and after college he became an instructor for GM mechanics. During his career with GM, he traveled millions of miles across the United States helping solve problems within its Truck Division.

During his long struggle with chronic heart disease, Arthur Bell became interested in helping solve problems caused by mechanical failures in the human heart, primarily birth defects in young children. Through the Rotary Club and the Gift of Life Program, he sponsored many children to have life-saving heart operations who were without access to health care. He also became interested in helping children access the arts and education. He founded the Arthur Bell Youth Foundation to promote these goals.

Susan Longhenry, director of the Harwood, is grateful for the gift and honored that the museum is associated with a family so dedicated to supporting the arts. “Arthur Bell’s gift to the Harwood, coming as it has through Dr. Bell and his family, is a testament to the power of creative expression and how an appreciation of the arts can enrich lives. “

“I’m sure my brother would be excited about the learning opportunities that will take place in this new Harwood facility,” says Dr. Bell. “He believed that life was about having fun and helping people.”