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The Dallas Arts community has lost one of its biggest patrons: Nancy Harmon, philanthropist and visionary, passed away over the weekend at the age of 92. Although she is no longer with us, her influence on the arts in Dallas won’t fade for a long time.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner said, “Nancy Hamon’s impact on the arts at SMU and in Dallas were profound. Her personality was a force of nature that made her a natural leader. She will be missed by all of us, but her legacy as an arts visionary is secure.”

Hamon’s impact on the arts at SMU is evident. The arts library that is housed inside the Meadows School of the Arts is called the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library. Hamon also gave $1 million to create the Jake and Nancy Hamon Galleries exhibition space at the Meadows Museum. And in 2009, she contributed to the renovation of the Meadows Museum Plaza.

Nancy Hamon’s touch extended beyond SMU to nearly all of Dallas. In 1988, she donated $20 million to fund the 140,000-square-foot Nancy and Jake L. Hamon Building at the Dallas Museum of Art. She also gave $10 million for a 200-seat recital hall at the Winspear Opera House.

Caren Prothro, a chair member of the SMU Board of Trustees, said, “Her decades of support for the arts in Dallas has been pivotal in the development and growth of the downtown Dallas Arts District.

The citizens of Dallas owe a debt of gratitude to a great lady, a truly one-of-a-kind philanthropist whose large life and reach literally transformed our city and made it what it is today.”

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