About

The Tree of Utah Momen Foundation

Working to Develop the Tree of Utah as a Seminal Educational Resource for the People of Utah 

About the Foundation 

The Tree of Utah Momen Foundation, was established on November 9, 2016 as a public charity and as a federal tax exempt organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c) (3) through the law offices of Lewis and Hansen of Salt Lake City. The Foundation was registered with the State of Utah Department of Commerce on December 9, 2016. 

According to the Foundation’s Articles of Incorporation the purpose of the Foundation is to support the maintenance and preservation of the Tree of Utah owned by the State of Utah, located in the west Utah desert, and to fund the construction, and maintain the operation of a museum and interpretive center at the site as an educational resource for the people of Utah. The Tree of Utah is located off of Highway 80 on the Bonneville Salt Flats – (map).

 

An Artwork of Significant Proportions – both Physically and Aesthetically 

The Tree of Utah, an 850 ton, 87 ft. high concrete sculpture is located alongside Interstate Highway 80 approximately 26 miles from Wendover on the Bonneville Salt Flats.  Created 30 years ago by Karl Momen, the Tree and has attracted the attention of millions of travelers along Interstate 80 since its construction in 1996.   

Cultural Value of the Tree of Utah  

The Tree is a prime example of Constructivist inspired Geometric Abstraction in the traditional Bauhaus style. It is also informed by Le Corbusier’s International Style – the style that revolutionized modern architecture during the 20th Century. In addition to its value in teaching about these powerful schools of design that have influenced the lives of millions, the Tree also provides an object lesson for teaching about the unique application of civil engineering and pre-stressed concrete techniques that were used in the construction of the central pylon and its six gigantic concrete orbs. Karl Momen, the creator of the Tree and an award winning architect, has designed the museum to complement and enhance the design of the Tree. The facility will also provide a venue for annual international art exhibitions. In addition, the design makes provision for an enclosed viewing area where visitors can enjoy the vast expanse of the Salt Flats in the contemplative ambiance of the museum.  

 

Growing Awareness, both Locally and Abroad  

Because of its cultural value some public schools in the Salt Lake area use the Tree of Utah for class projects and take their students out to view the Tree from school busses as they drive by the site, not daring to stop as this would be an infringement of traffic rules along this length of federal highway. The Tree has also accrued significant acclaim over the past three decades from arts agencies and museums in Europe, the Far East, and Australia. There have been hundreds of articles and video productions in overseas media that have featured the Tree – spurring cultural tourists to visit the Tree (and Utah). According to statistics from Google it is one of the most photographed artworks in the United States, with millions of image files having been uploaded on the web.   
 

The Need for Public Access – both Physically and Intellectually. 

Three decades of exposure to the public have resulted in thousands of visitor comments on Internet travel sites calling for information about this landmark sculpture.  Thousands of motorists have flagrantly disregarded traffic rules and risked hefty fines for stopping along the highway, to take pictures of the structure in its desert setting. Many have often exclaimed that they wished that they knew more about the Tree and its creator. The Tree of Utah Momen Foundation Inc. is dedicated to remedying this longstanding deficit by providing a museum and interpretive center at the site where motorists can safely pull off this monotonous stretch of highway and spend informative time learning about the Tree’s architectural and design roots. Visitors will learn about the innovative civil engineering techniques that were used in its construction while also being informed about the seminal relationship between this unique sculpture and its desert environment.  

 

Support from the Utah State Government  

At a special meeting held at the Utah State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday January 18, 2017 state representatives from Governor Gary Herbert’s office, the Department of Heritage and Arts, the Department of Facilities and Construction Management, and with input from the executive director of the Utah Department of Transport, it was agreed that the Tree of Utah Foundation, Inc. should proceed with its work of fund raising to finance the necessary road works and construction of a museum and interpretive center at the site of the Tree of Utah.  

 

Donations 

As a tax exempt charitable entity, the Tree of Utah Momen Foundation, receives donations from individuals, public and business entities. For further information and for assistance in making a donation to the foundation please contact Herman du Toit, the executive director at (801) 636-2103 or email: hdutoit1@live.com  

You may also make your donation directly on this site – simply click here

It’s time to give the Tree of Utah back to the people of Utah!