200 Block of West Park Street, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Thanks to a major gift from Robert Kieft, a longtime Elmhurst resident and business owner, Elmhurst College gratefully announces the re-naming of its newest, most unique art gallery.
The Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace is the College’s combination of an atom smasher alongside art exhibit space. Heretofore known as the Accelerator ArtSpace, the building has been re-named in perpetuity, in honor of Mr. Kieft’s late wife.
Barbara A Kieft (died 2001) was an art lover and a member of the Elmhurst College Class of 1976. She had a passion for art and art history, and she lived it out fully; Barbara founded of the Oakbrook Art League, served as a docent at the Elmhurst Art Museum, and taught art in high schools, Park Districts, even the DuPage Correctional Facility.
Bob Kieft spoke modestly of his generous gift to the College, saying simply that he “wanted to give something back,” as he and Barbara had enjoyed a good life in their community.
One part of that good life was Elmhurst College. “My wife went back to school late in life, after the kids were grown. It was quite an accomplishment,” Bob Kieft concluded. “Barbara was proud of her Elmhurst degree, and she always enjoyed and appreciated the College.”
Opened as a gallery in 2004, the Barbara A. Kieft Accelerator ArtSpace is located in the 200 block of W. Park Street in Elmhurst (behind the College’s Mill Theatre). A one-of-a-kind gallery, it regularly displays professional and amateur artwork within an old lab which houses a 750,000-volt proton accelerator. That “atom smasher” was actually used during the early days of atomic weapons research at the University of Chicago, then was moved to Elmhurst College in 1969.