About the Collection
A Gift to the Future
The Cedarburg Art Museum and its initial 49 paintings were donated to the people of Cedarburg by a trust fund left for the community by Ozaukee Bank. Ozaukee Bank was a popular financial services company that sold stock in Cedarburg and opened for business there in 1975.
During its 32 years as an independent bank, from modest beginnings in an old house, it grew to become Wisconsin’s ninth largest financial institution. Eventually based out of five prominent stone office buildings, it became the dominant bank in Ozaukee County. In 2007, with essential management and many of its 400 stockholders nearing retirement age, the Board of Directors agreed to merge the business into BMO Harris Bank. Ozaukee Bank, with its substantial customer base and clean loan and bond portfolios, garnered a higher price than any bank previously sold in Wisconsin.
The Bank’s founder, Chairman M D “Mal” Hepburn, wanted to do something for Cedarburg to acknowledge the support the Bank had received over the years from the community. With the Directors' agreement, he selected 49 paintings from the Bank’s collection of over 200 artworks to be set aside for the future Cedarburg Art Museum. The Directors also set aside $1,500,000 in a Trust Fund to support the future Museum, along with other cultural, artistic, and service groups in the community. The fund, Ozaukee Bank's Gift to the Future, has the mission of "Supporting Cedarburg...Now and Forever."