The University of Chicago began seriously planning to build an art museum and establish a permanent art collection in the 1960s. The founding gift came from the Smart Family Foundation in 1967 and construction began in 1971. The museum was named after David Smart and his brother Alfred Smart, the Chicago-based publishers of Esquire, Coronet, and as well as the founders of Coronet Films. There are over 15,000 objects in the Smart Museum's collection. A selection is displayed in four permanent collection galleries dedicated to modern art, Asian art, European art, and contemporary art.