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Art collection on display at the Department of Art History Gallery

Visual Arts at St. Thomas

About the Visual Arts at St. Thomas

The art and architectural collections and galleries at the University of St. Thomas serve as teaching opportunities for our students and the public. For undergraduate and graduate students in art history, the VISUAL ARTS@St. Thomas provide the experience of working with artwork, learning proper curatorial and exhibition techniques, and fostering a better understanding of the works' cultural context.

The VISUAL ARTS@St. Thomas include:

  • The American Museum of Asmat Art
  • Department of Art History Gallery
  • University of St. Thomas Art Collection
  • Voorsanger Architects Archive
An interior photo of the American Museum of Asmat Art.

The American Museum of Asmat Art (AMAA)

 

The American Museum of Asmat Art is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the visual cultures of Asmat while educating students and the general public about this region.

The term “Asmat” refers to a people, a language, and a geographic area. Today, Asmat homelands lie within Papua Province, Indonesia on the southwest coast of the Island of New Guinea. Many Asmat live in villages along rivers that wind through the dense rainforest of a vast muddy coastal plain. They are among the finest and most prolific wood sculptors and weavers in the Pacific Islands with artists working in a variety of materials such as seeds, feathers, and shells.

About the Museum

  • What is the AMAA?
  • Mission and Vision
  • The Gallery
  • Visit
  • Explore the Collection
  • AMAA Board of Advisors
  • What is the AMAA?

    The AMAA has one of the largest collections of Asmat art in the country, with almost 3,000 objects. Most of the works date from the mid-20th century to the present. The collection was originally formed by missionaries from the American Crosier Fathers and Brothers, a Catholic religious Order that was in the Asmat region starting in 1958.

    The museum had previous homes in Hastings, Nebraska and Shoreview, Minnesota. The Crosiers, wishing to place the collection in a setting where it could be used to educate students and the public about Asmat art and culture, gave it to the University of St. Thomas in 2007. The museum opened in 2012 and is located on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus.

    Mission and Vision

    Mission

    The American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas engages students and the global community through preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the art of Asmat people, in order to expand human understanding and promote intercultural awareness.

    Vision

    The vision of the American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas is to be a preeminent teaching collection, interdisciplinary in nature and programmatically diverse, that promotes global understanding of Asmat art and culture consistent with the mission and values of the University of St. Thomas.

    The Gallery

    The Gallery exhibiting holdings from the American Museum of Asmat Art is divided into two sections. The objects on permanent display include Asmat ancestor poles (bis), canoes (wuramon), and other large-scale works such as shields and masks. The rest of the gallery is for rotating exhibitions, which feature periodic displays based on the different aspects of Asmat art and culture.

    The AMAA forms an integral part of the Department of Art History’s dedication to teaching global arts in context and the University’s broader commitment to foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and the artistic achievements of all humanity.

    Visit

    Groups wishing to schedule a visit must contact Gretchen Burau, Museum Director in advance of their visit.

    Location

    The AMAA@St. Thomas showcases rotating exhibitions on view in the gallery on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center.

    AMAA Fall/Spring Hours 2021-2022

    Fall Semester: Tuesday, September 7th - Wednesday, December 15th

    * Gallery closed on Labor Day, over Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, and all of Finals Week

    Spring Semester: Tuesday, February 1st - Saturday, May 14th

    * Gallery closed over Mid-term Break, Easter Break, and all of Finals Week

    Hours

    Open Tuesday through Saturday and admission is free!
    • Tuesday - Thursday 10 a.m – 3 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    • Sunday and Monday - Closed

    COVID-19 Visitor Policy

    In accordance with CDC, MDH, and University of St. Thomas Policies:

    We want campus to be a safe place for everyone, and expect visitors to be vaccinated. St. Thomas requires face coverings in indoor public spaces when others are present. This applies to all community members regardless of vaccination status.

    If you are feeling sick, we ask that you stay home.

    Parking

    Street parking is available in non-permit areas along Cretin Avenue and Summit Avenue. Guests are also welcome to park in the Anderson Parking Facility and the Morrison Parking Ramp.

    Explore the Collection

    AMAA Board of Advisors

    Mr. Gerald D. Brennan, Chair
    Mrs. Carole Boyum
    Mrs. Gretchen Burau, Interim Director & Curator
    Mrs. Cheryl Cook
    V. Rev. Tom Enneking, osc
    Dr. Bernie Folz
    Dr. Thomas Harkcom
    Ms. Phyllis Hischier
    Fr. Kermit Holl, osc
    Ms. Gretchen Holland
    Ms. Ursula Konrad
    Mr. David Kostik
    Fr. Virgil Petermeier, osc
    Ms. Topsy Simonson
    Dr. Nick Stanley
    Mrs. Lori Wiese-Parks
    Dr. Mark Stansbury-O'Donnell
    Dr. Victoria Young
    Mrs. Donna MacMillan, honorary member
    Mrs. Suzanne Burke, College of Arts and Sciences staff

    What is the AMAA?

    The AMAA has one of the largest collections of Asmat art in the country, with almost 3,000 objects. Most of the works date from the mid-20th century to the present. The collection was originally formed by missionaries from the American Crosier Fathers and Brothers, a Catholic religious Order that was in the Asmat region starting in 1958.

    The museum had previous homes in Hastings, Nebraska and Shoreview, Minnesota. The Crosiers, wishing to place the collection in a setting where it could be used to educate students and the public about Asmat art and culture, gave it to the University of St. Thomas in 2007. The museum opened in 2012 and is located on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus.

    Mission and Vision

    Mission

    The American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas engages students and the global community through preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the art of Asmat people, in order to expand human understanding and promote intercultural awareness.

    Vision

    The vision of the American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas is to be a preeminent teaching collection, interdisciplinary in nature and programmatically diverse, that promotes global understanding of Asmat art and culture consistent with the mission and values of the University of St. Thomas.

    The Gallery

    The Gallery exhibiting holdings from the American Museum of Asmat Art is divided into two sections. The objects on permanent display include Asmat ancestor poles (bis), canoes (wuramon), and other large-scale works such as shields and masks. The rest of the gallery is for rotating exhibitions, which feature periodic displays based on the different aspects of Asmat art and culture.

    The AMAA forms an integral part of the Department of Art History’s dedication to teaching global arts in context and the University’s broader commitment to foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and the artistic achievements of all humanity.

    Visit

    Groups wishing to schedule a visit must contact Gretchen Burau, Museum Director in advance of their visit.

    Location

    The AMAA@St. Thomas showcases rotating exhibitions on view in the gallery on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center.

    AMAA Fall/Spring Hours 2021-2022

    Fall Semester: Tuesday, September 7th - Wednesday, December 15th

    * Gallery closed on Labor Day, over Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, and all of Finals Week

    Spring Semester: Tuesday, February 1st - Saturday, May 14th

    * Gallery closed over Mid-term Break, Easter Break, and all of Finals Week

    Hours

    Open Tuesday through Saturday and admission is free!
    • Tuesday - Thursday 10 a.m – 3 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    • Sunday and Monday - Closed

    COVID-19 Visitor Policy

    In accordance with CDC, MDH, and University of St. Thomas Policies:

    We want campus to be a safe place for everyone, and expect visitors to be vaccinated. St. Thomas requires face coverings in indoor public spaces when others are present. This applies to all community members regardless of vaccination status.

    If you are feeling sick, we ask that you stay home.

    Parking

    Street parking is available in non-permit areas along Cretin Avenue and Summit Avenue. Guests are also welcome to park in the Anderson Parking Facility and the Morrison Parking Ramp.

    AMAA Board of Advisors

    Mr. Gerald D. Brennan, Chair
    Mrs. Carole Boyum
    Mrs. Gretchen Burau, Interim Director & Curator
    Mrs. Cheryl Cook
    V. Rev. Tom Enneking, osc
    Dr. Bernie Folz
    Dr. Thomas Harkcom
    Ms. Phyllis Hischier
    Fr. Kermit Holl, osc
    Ms. Gretchen Holland
    Ms. Ursula Konrad
    Mr. David Kostik
    Fr. Virgil Petermeier, osc
    Ms. Topsy Simonson
    Dr. Nick Stanley
    Mrs. Lori Wiese-Parks
    Dr. Mark Stansbury-O'Donnell
    Dr. Victoria Young
    Mrs. Donna MacMillan, honorary member
    Mrs. Suzanne Burke, College of Arts and Sciences staff

    Exhibition Reception: 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021

    The American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas presents Woven Together, an exhibition that celebrates the lives and artistic skills of Asmat women. For generations, fiber artists from this region have created works that are intertwined with their ritual and daily lives. More recently, female weavers have developed innovative techniques and incorporated new materials to enhance their own styles and fulfill the demands of a changing art market. Works featured in this display date from 1963-2020 and were created out of a variety of materials such as cassowary quills, coix seeds, cuscus fur, plastic, and shells. The exhibition is accompanied by contemporary photographs and video of the region.

    Curated with assistance from Molly McIntosh, Emily Magyar, Taylor Menendez, and Mary Agnes Ratelle.

    Image: Teresia Bivanpakem, Skirt, 2009, Asmat people, Fiber, cassowary feathers, seeds, cassowary quills, string (2009.05.009), Purchased by Dr. Julie Risser with 2009 Spirit of Solstice fundraiser contributions

    Idealized Imperfection exhibition in the Department of Art History Gallery.

    Department of Art History Gallery

    By providing both the campus community and the public with access to contemporary and historical art exhibitions, the gallery supports local and regional arts communities and bolsters a wider understanding of artistic engagement with societal issues.

    About the Gallery

  • Mission
  • Visit
  • Artist Opportunities
  • Mission

    The Department of Art History Gallery is committed to providing an exhibition program that fosters dialogue centered around the issues of contemporary and historical art and architectural topics to encourage paths of inquiry and intercultural understanding to advance the common good.

    Visit

    COVID-19 Visitor Policy

    In accordance with CDC, MDH, and University of St. Thomas Policies:

    We want campus to be a safe place for everyone, and expect visitors to be vaccinated. St. Thomas requires face coverings in indoor public spaces when others are present. This applies to all community members regardless of vaccination status.

    If you are feeling sick, we ask that you stay home.

    Groups wishing to schedule a visit may contact Marria Thompson, Gallery Curator, in advance of their visit.

    Location

    The Department of Art History Gallery is located on the first floor of the O'Shaughnessy Educational Center (OEC) in St. Paul.

    Hours

    Open daily and admission is free!
    • Monday – Thursday 9 a.m – 8 p.m.
    • Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Sunday 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

    Parking

    Street parking is available in non-permit areas along Cleveland Avenue and Summit Avenue. Guests can also park in the Anderson Parking Facility and the Morrison Parking Ramp.

    Artist Opportunities

    Who can submit a proposal? 
    We welcome artists to submit proposals to exhibit their work in our gallery. Scheduled two years in advance, our Art Exhibition Program presents two major displays during the academic year (September through December and February through May). We welcome all emerging and established artists, working in all mediums, to submit solo and/or group proposals.

    Application Cycle and Timeline
    You are welcome to submit a proposal at any time and it will be reviewed during the next cycle. The current application cycle is closed, so please check back regularly for updates.

    Proposal Guidelines 
    To submit a digital proposal, please include the following:

    • Letter of introduction stating intent/exhibition proposal (PDF format and up to 3 pages total)
    • Résumé/CV: Your current résumé/CV (or that of each artist involved), up to two pages per artist
    • Artist Statement
    • Digital images: In JPEG format, 72 dpi, 600 pixels in longest direction
    • Image list: title, date, medium, dimensions for each
    • Contact information: phone number and email address

    Digital proposals only, please. Do not mail anything.

    Send all questions and submissions to:
    Marria Thompson
    Department of Art History Gallery Curator
    ArtHistoryGallery@stthomas.edu

    Mission

    The Department of Art History Gallery is committed to providing an exhibition program that fosters dialogue centered around the issues of contemporary and historical art and architectural topics to encourage paths of inquiry and intercultural understanding to advance the common good.

    Visit

    COVID-19 Visitor Policy

    In accordance with CDC, MDH, and University of St. Thomas Policies:

    We want campus to be a safe place for everyone, and expect visitors to be vaccinated. St. Thomas requires face coverings in indoor public spaces when others are present. This applies to all community members regardless of vaccination status.

    If you are feeling sick, we ask that you stay home.

    Groups wishing to schedule a visit may contact Marria Thompson, Gallery Curator, in advance of their visit.

    Location

    The Department of Art History Gallery is located on the first floor of the O'Shaughnessy Educational Center (OEC) in St. Paul.

    Hours

    Open daily and admission is free!
    • Monday – Thursday 9 a.m – 8 p.m.
    • Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Sunday 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

    Parking

    Street parking is available in non-permit areas along Cleveland Avenue and Summit Avenue. Guests can also park in the Anderson Parking Facility and the Morrison Parking Ramp.

    Artist Opportunities

    Who can submit a proposal? 
    We welcome artists to submit proposals to exhibit their work in our gallery. Scheduled two years in advance, our Art Exhibition Program presents two major displays during the academic year (September through December and February through May). We welcome all emerging and established artists, working in all mediums, to submit solo and/or group proposals.

    Application Cycle and Timeline
    You are welcome to submit a proposal at any time and it will be reviewed during the next cycle. The current application cycle is closed, so please check back regularly for updates.

    Proposal Guidelines 
    To submit a digital proposal, please include the following:

    • Letter of introduction stating intent/exhibition proposal (PDF format and up to 3 pages total)
    • Résumé/CV: Your current résumé/CV (or that of each artist involved), up to two pages per artist
    • Artist Statement
    • Digital images: In JPEG format, 72 dpi, 600 pixels in longest direction
    • Image list: title, date, medium, dimensions for each
    • Contact information: phone number and email address

    Digital proposals only, please. Do not mail anything.

    Send all questions and submissions to:
    Marria Thompson
    Department of Art History Gallery Curator
    ArtHistoryGallery@stthomas.edu

    Fall 2021 Exhibition: Innocence of Faith

    Guest curated by Bobby Rogers and presented by The Bureau

    Inspired by the 2014 #BeingBlackAndMuslim that was initiated by the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, Bobby Rogers created a series of photographs that challenge the mainstream meaning of what it means to be “Muslim.” Much like the unjust treatment of Black individuals in our country, Rogers states “there is, and always has been, an erasure of Black Muslims from our historical teachings in America, just as there is an erasure of Black and Muslim cultures worldwide.” The intention was for this project to bring awareness to the challenges that arise from occupying two axes of the most marginalized groups in society and “for others to understand the true beauty and resilience of being Black and Muslim.”

    No matter the ethnic background, we continue to witness the misunderstanding of the Muslim identity in America and worldwide. Fueled by conversations centered around racism and Islamophobia, any progress towards understanding and change continues to be deeply hindered. Expanding upon his previous work, Rogers and the team at The Bureau have created a photographic series focused on religion, identity, and youth that returns to the root of his previous series and asks the question, “what does it mean to be “Muslim” in America?” In an early conversation between Marria Thompson and Bobby Rogers, he shared that children “experience faith with so much wonder, and I believe that in these trying times, their world view and their unfettered curiosity will inspire many.” Serving as his inspiration, this new series of photographs, Innocence of Faith, features Muslim children of diverse ethnicities and intends to bring awareness, share hope, and inspire positive change in the audience’s perspectives. 

     


    The Department of Art History would like to thank our co-sponsors for their support: American Culture & Difference, Campus Ministry, Encountering Islam Initiative, Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies, Justice and Peace Studies, and Student Diversity & Inclusion.

     

     

    Bobby Rogers (b. 1992) is a visual historian, photographer and art director from Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work has broken barriers across various industries and has continued to garner the attention of publications across the globe. Rogers was named Minnesota Monthly’s Top Visual Artists to Watch in 2016, and City Pages named Rogers an Artist of the Year in 2017. His works seamlessly blends his passion for design and futurism with his long-standing commitment for intellectual rigor and cultural exploration. His photography incorporates themes of identity, history and philosophy to tell subtle stories of beauty amidst precarity.

    After graduating from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in 2014, Rogers was soon named the official photographer for the Walker Art Center, and subsequently became the first Senior Art Director of African American Style at Target Corporation.

    His first solo exhibition titled The Blacker the Berry premiered at Public Functionary (2017) to wide acclaim with Juxtapoz Magazine writing, “The show is delicately complex and understated, yet unapologetically bold and confident in its humility.”

    Rogers has premiered work at various institutions from The Minnesota Museum of American Art to the International Center of Photography. He has lectured at the Minneapolis Institute of Art with his writing on the plight of Black Muslimhood read aloud at the Oxford University Islamic Society. 

    He has also amassed a list of clientele that includes Apple, PAPER Magazine, Timberland, Redbull, Vox Media, City Pages, and others. Rogers is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Bureau, an interdisciplinary art studio that produces critical dialogue and intellectual ingenuity through robust artistic production.

    Bobby Rogers (b. 1992) is a visual historian, photographer and art director from Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work has broken barriers across various industries and has continued to garner the attention of publications across the globe. Rogers was named Minnesota Monthly’s Top Visual Artists to Watch in 2016, and City Pages named Rogers an Artist of the Year in 2017. His works seamlessly blends his passion for design and futurism with his long-standing commitment for intellectual rigor and cultural exploration. His photography incorporates themes of identity, history and philosophy to tell subtle stories of beauty amidst precarity.

    After graduating from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in 2014, Rogers was soon named the official photographer for the Walker Art Center, and subsequently became the first Senior Art Director of African American Style at Target Corporation.

    His first solo exhibition titled The Blacker the Berry premiered at Public Functionary (2017) to wide acclaim with Juxtapoz Magazine writing, “The show is delicately complex and understated, yet unapologetically bold and confident in its humility.”

    Rogers has premiered work at various institutions from The Minnesota Museum of American Art to the International Center of Photography. He has lectured at the Minneapolis Institute of Art with his writing on the plight of Black Muslimhood read aloud at the Oxford University Islamic Society. 

    He has also amassed a list of clientele that includes Apple, PAPER Magazine, Timberland, Redbull, Vox Media, City Pages, and others. Rogers is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Bureau, an interdisciplinary art studio that produces critical dialogue and intellectual ingenuity through robust artistic production.

    The Bureau is a multidisciplinary creative media studio. We envision, create, and curate visual narratives to weave the thread of our collective histories. Art, as an expression of love, provides one of the few avenues in which the imagination can be completely unbound. As such, in an era of injustice, it must remain a totem of truth; one that demands an exercise of imagination and that envisions a future in which the principles of righteousness, morality, and the sanctity of human potential reign central.

    Our team includes visual artists, designers, teachers, producers, editors, lawyers and poets.

    About the Collection

  • Mission
  • Explore the Collection
  • Greco-Roman Coins
  • Mission

    The University of St. Thomas Art Collection seeks to bring the visual arts to the university, providing an enriching and engaging experience for all students, scholars, and community members. Diverse in scope, the collection fosters critical thinking about global cultures and the material world.

    Explore the Collection

    With historical oil paintings, large scale outdoor sculptures, intricate African carvings and more, the University of St. Thomas Art Collection has over 1,500 works of art that you can search and explore.

    Greco-Roman Coins

    During Fall 2019, students in Professor Vanessa Rousseau's Museum Studies: Collections (ARTH 250) explored the Greco-Roman coins from the University of St. Thomas Art Collection. This hands-on project allowed the students to work with objects, metadata, and digital exhibitions while creating an online database that serves as a valuable resource for the collection.

    Mission

    The University of St. Thomas Art Collection seeks to bring the visual arts to the university, providing an enriching and engaging experience for all students, scholars, and community members. Diverse in scope, the collection fosters critical thinking about global cultures and the material world.

    Explore the Collection

    With historical oil paintings, large scale outdoor sculptures, intricate African carvings and more, the University of St. Thomas Art Collection has over 1,500 works of art that you can search and explore.

    Greco-Roman Coins

    During Fall 2019, students in Professor Vanessa Rousseau's Museum Studies: Collections (ARTH 250) explored the Greco-Roman coins from the University of St. Thomas Art Collection. This hands-on project allowed the students to work with objects, metadata, and digital exhibitions while creating an online database that serves as a valuable resource for the collection.

    Contact Us

    Questions? Please feel free to contact us.

    Marria Thompson

    Department of Art History Gallery, University of St. Thomas Art Collection