It All Began at the Dinner Table

Meet John Madden: a small town Nebraska boy from humble beginnings turned commercial real estate mogul, avid art aficionado and generous philanthropist. In this captivating video, John describes how his childhood influenced his drive to succeed, his art appreciation and a desire to add purpose and beauty to the world through his work.

Everyone has a story. However, there are some that have a special power to educate, motivate or inspire others. We believe John’s does all three.

Humble Beginnings  
Like many great protagonists, John was not born into privilege. He and his family faced financial hardships that heavily influenced both John’s love for the arts and his incredible work ethic.

A Heart for the Arts
John’s mother had a long-time career with the
Joslyn Art Museum. He grew up spending time at her place of work, learning early on the power and respite the arts could offer. As he entered adulthood, John made sure his travels included

museum visits where he actively absorbed art collections of all genres. 

Whether it was Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, New York or Baltimore, the first place I’d go would be the art museum. Why? First, because it was affordable, and second, I knew that’s where I was going to find culture.
John Madden


Purpose Beyond Profit
As a young adult, John also found purpose through art. He quickly realized the impact art could have on people and decided this would be part of his work. The idea of creating tastefully done commercial real estate, with art as a focal point, became the starting element for all his projects. Not only would he add economic and practical value with his buildings, he would add beauty as well.

Building a Legacy
Fast forward to today, and John’s journey is an inspiring tale of how hard work, passion and focus can build not only a personal dream, but a legacy as well. This self-made art enthusiast and entrepreneur now has his own museum,
the Madden Museum of Art, and is a well-known developer in Denver. His projects, which include award-winning developments Palazzo Verdi, The Commons, Harlequin Plaza and Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater, are among some of the most well-known and respected in the community.

Art: the Gift that Keeps on Giving
In addition to his personal success and professional contributions, John still believes in the power art can have for every person. One of
his latest donations—an art collection valued at $10 million—supports art accessibility and education

I really think that access to the arts is crucial for young people," John says. “. . . I always look to how these projects can benefit young people and students, and I'm convinced that the University of Denver can carry these interests forward on multiple fronts.

From the first time John talked with our UMB team, we knew our services and expertise were a great match for some of John’s needs, particularly our art management offerings. We also quickly realized the chemistry was right. In addition to shared art interests, Midwestern roots, and his shrewd business mind, John’s openness and directness provided our team with a clear idea of what he needed and was looking for in a financial partner.

I knew he was our ideal client – successful, self-made, a very smart business man—and then he had this interest in art and philanthropy. He needed us, and we needed him.

Jan Leonard, senior vice president and managing director, Fine Art Management Services

John’s Story. Our Focus.

We felt privileged that John felt the same way and began our work with him by focusing on his art collection.

At UMB, our 
fine arts management services, include options for both collectors and artists, including a specialized, museum-quality, art inventory software that was an excellent fit for John’s collection. We recorded and maintained all of the important details of John’s items, including inventory, establishing a database, and collecting images and background information on all of his pieces.

As our relationship has grown, so has how we’ve been able to help. We
look at the whole person, and John has many different needs. As his video shares, he is a business man, an art enthusiast and a philanthropist, and we feel very fortunate that we’re able to offer assistance and advice in all these areas.

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It's clients like John that push me to keep thinking of new ways to help. Working with people, like him, who contribute so much personally, professionally and civically is extremely gratifying. To see it in person is rewarding and inspiring. 

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UMB’s long-term commitment to the arts has deep and authentic roots, beginning with the Kemper family’s passion for fine art. We have a genuine interest and understanding, garnering a reputation that is widely-recognized and respected. This credibility allows us to provide unparalleled service to artists and collectors nationwide. From inventory to appraisals, custody to conservation we have a vast array of services based on your needs.

You’ve spent a lifetime achieving your dreams and growing your assets. Trust and Lifestyle Management services allow you to protect what’s most important—your family and the generations to come. We work with you to build a sound estate plan allowing you to distribute your accumulated assets according to your wishes.

We know your goals and priorities evolve over time, and that the investment management landscape can change in an instant. That’s why we’ve built a comprehensive and collaborative process to select investments that make the most sense for your personal financial objectives.

Trust UMB to further your story.

To learn more about our comprehensive Fine Art & Collectables Management solutions, contact Jan Leonard at 816-860-1933.

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Watch John Madden's Story

Your Story. Our Focus.

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