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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

About the Museum

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

    Covid-19 Prevention Policies

    Please help us maintain the health and safety of museum visitors, students, faculty and staff by observing the following guidelines.

    • Face masks covering noses and mouths are required in the museum.
    • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself or your group and others.
    • Be mindful of maximum occupancy, which is 10 visitors in the gallery at a time.
    • Stay home if you are sick.

    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.

    Hours (beginning September 9, 2020)

    Open daily and admission is free!
    • Monday - Wednesday 10 a.m – 4 p.m.
    • Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • Sunday - Closed

    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

    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

    Covid-19 Prevention Policies

    Please help us maintain the health and safety of museum visitors, students, faculty and staff by observing the following guidelines.

    • Face masks covering noses and mouths are required in the museum.
    • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself or your group and others.
    • Be mindful of maximum occupancy, which is 10 visitors in the gallery at a time.
    • Stay home if you are sick.

    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.

    Hours (beginning September 9, 2020)

    Open daily and admission is free!
    • Monday - Wednesday 10 a.m – 4 p.m.
    • Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • Sunday - Closed

    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.

    American Museum of Asmat Art 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

    Idealized Imperfection exhibition in the Department of Art History Gallery.

    Department of Art History Gallery

    The Department of Art History Gallery is committed to providing an exhibition program fostering dialogue centered on contemporary and historical art issues, as well architectural topics encouraging paths of inquiry and intercultural understanding.

    An exploration into the spiritual dimension of human experience, Idealized Imperfection showcases two artists who expand on contemporary life while utilizing historical traditions and text. Inspired by Orthodox iconography and fashion photography, Natalia Berglund’s paintings are a commentary on the modern ideals of femininity. Kelly Kruse blends sacred text and personal reflection to create illuminated paintings that consider the duality between time and the reality of pain. While appearing to be idyllic, contemplation and reflection allows the viewer to witness the limitations in life through this visual dialogue.

    In memory of Dr. Shelly Nordtorp-Madson, teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend.

    Natalia Berglund is a Minneapolis-based (Minsk-born) multidisciplinary visual artist who works in a variety of mediums, with a primary focus on portraiture. Her latest body of work is inspired by Orthodox iconography and fashion photography. Drawing parallels between the high drama of ancient icons and contemporary representations of women in the media, she explores the tension inherent in modern ideals of femininity. With each piece, Natalia represents her subjects both literally and symbolically. She captures the precise facial features, but then makes surrealistic background and color choices that help create a story filled with meaning and visual richness. Natalia has participated in numerous gallery and museum exhibitions. Her work can be found in private collections across the USA, Europe, Middle East, and Russia. Her piece "Vessel" is part of the El Paso Museum of History Permanent Collection. 

    Kelly Kruse (b. 1985, Iowa) uses her work to explore the painful, beautiful experience of human transience, longing, and suffering. She developed a visual devotional practice as a response to her battle with depression, through which she wrestles with beauty, history, and theology. Kruse describes her work as contemporary illumination. Like the medieval monks who perfected the art of illuminated manuscripts, she seeks to awake in the viewer a sense of spiritual contemplation. Her first exposure to the idea of illumination came when she studied Medieval and Renaissance music in Italy. Her background in classical music and opera puts her in a unique position to explore the intersections between scripture, poetry, musical works, and the visual arts. She has exhibited her work at galleries and institutions across the country and her work is featured in collections around the world. In addition to her painting practice, Kelly is an active classical musician and maintains a private studio as a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

    Visit the Gallery

    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.

    Artist Opportunities

  • Who can submit a proposal
  • Application cycle and timeline
  • Proposal guidelines
  • Contact Information
  • 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

    Contact Information

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

    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

    Contact Information

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

    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