I received this response today from the South Dakota Art Museum at Brookings:
Ben Reifel did not start the Museum’s collection of American Indian Art.
Actually he never donated any of his collection. He had a number of objects on long term loan. After his death we worked with his daughter Lloyce Reifel Anderson to convert some of them to acquisitions back in 2004. At that time we accepted 18 objects..
His reputation and presence on the board was a notable accomplishment for the Museum.
Thank you for celebrating the life of Ben Reifel he was a great man.
Lynn Verschoor, Director
South Dakota Art Museum
(Note: The below post has been corrected.)