Milam died this week, but he leaves behind a rich history of philanthropy and service to MOCA and many other organizations.
He was a key member of MOCA's Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2009, serving as chair for the first eight of those years. After steering the Museum through five years of operation without a permanent facility, he led the effort to move downtown and spearheaded the capital campaign to raise $5 million for the building's restoration. He continued to lead MOCA through its reopening as the largest contemporary art museum in Florida. Attendance soared to more than 40,000 during the first year and has continued increase annually.
“His service and vision has sustained the Museum through its many phases,” said Charles Gilman III, current chair of the Board of Trustees. “Arthur encouraged me to become more involved with MOCA when I moved here, and as usual, his advice was prescient. I will remember Arthur as a man of generous spirit and strong character. We have lost a true friend.”
“It wouldn't have been possible without Arthur,” Preston Haskell told The Florida Times-Union. Haskell succeeded Milam as chair in 2006. “He was a wonderful colleague to me. Extraordinarily smart and well educated, a prince of a person in terms of personality.”
Since 1998, Milam and his wife, Teresa, gave more than $800,000 to MOCA Jacksonville, including $100,000 in 2015 as part of a promised $500,000 over five years to the Museum's endowment. The couple also donated a 1988 painting by James Bohary titled Reef to the Permanent Collection in memory of Steve Champion and his son, Terence Milam, who died in a car accident in 2004.