The arts were important to Margot Ludlow Shott. During her life, she regularly attended performances of the Utah Opera, Ballet West, and Pioneer Theatre Company, where she also served as a member of its board. She made fashion her career, assisting the Utah Museum of Fine Arts with a fashion exhibit in 2005. Margot lived a full life enriched by the arts. And when planning her will, she made heartfelt gifts of jewelry, clothes, and money to the arts charities she loved.
Born in New York City in 1931, Margot’s passion for art and couture was first cultivated by her mother. As a young woman she studied advertising at Columbia University before working for Catalina Swimwear in California. When she moved to Utah, Margot was a fashion coordinator for the department store Weinstocks. She later met and married Allen Shott, a commercial real-estate broker, who died in 1996.
Margot built a special relationship with the arts community at the U, particularly the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Pioneer Theatre Company, and the College of Fine Arts, and made annual gifts to them for 31 years. In addition to loving art, she also valued the arts education provided by the university. She was especially fond of Pioneer Theatre Company, where she had been a patron since the building was completed in 1962. Her relationship with the theatre went beyond just being a board member; she often attended rehearsals and hosted cast parties at her home.
When Margot passed away in 2015 at the age of 83, the University of Utah learned that Margot had thoughtfully included gifts in her will to the art museum, the theatre, and the College of Fine Arts. Pioneer Theatre’s managing director, Chris Lino, who knew Margot for 25 years, says, “She was not just a donor—she was an ardent lover of the arts. Art filled her house, it filled her life, and she communicated her passion for the arts every day she was alive. It’s not surprising that she continued her support even after she passed away.”
The arts were essential in her life and she made it her legacy. Chris adds, “Everyone who knew Margot would say that she was the living embodiment of the adage that ‘we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.’”