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According to its statement of purpose, the North Dakota State Museum aims to build a world-class museum for the people of the state and surrounding regions. The museum is the official art museum of the state of North Dakota. It is a private non-profit organization located inside the University of North Dakota campus.

The museum was established in the 1970s and was initially known as University of North Dakota Art Gallery. The gallery was later declared as an official state art museum by the North Dakota Legislative Assembly in 1981. The West Gymnasium of the University was converted into the present museum.

The museum contains three galleries, a video room, a small gift shop and restaurant. The museum?s popular exhibits include ?Lewis and Clark: Rivers, Edens, Empires?, and a gallery about the 1997 Red River Floor, ?Under the Whelming Tide?.
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