Mission: Enhancing the mission of Northern Michigan University through exhibitions and programs that engage creative culture across campus, local and regional communities.
The DeVos Art Museum emerged from the former Lee Hall Gallery, which was established in 1975 to serve the Art and Design Department at NMU as a departmental gallery showcasing student and faculty work. The role of the gallery grew to include rotating exhibitions of national artists and established a permanent art collection of over 1,000 objects. In 1990, the Friends of Lee Hall Gallery, through the Affinity Clubs of the NMU Foundation, was established to support the growth of the gallery. In 1993 the volunteer docent program was created and numerous outdoor public sculptures were installed across campus, including a sculpture walk adjacent to Lee Hall. In 1995, Lee Hall Gallery received art museum status and became known as the University Art Museum. The DeVos Art Museum opened in February of 2005 after the completion of a new museum building, designed by HGA Architects. The Museum is part of the School of Art and Design at NMU.
There are three endowments that support the Museum. The John X. and June A. Jamrich endowment was gifted in 1995 and the University Art Museum endowment was established in 2003 with gifts from the Art and Design faculty. In 2005, upon completion of the new building, the DeVos Foundation endowed the museum with a major gift to support programming in the new gallery spaces.