The Art Program at St. Thomas

"The Fine Arts play a crucial role in the cultural life of the University of St. Thomas and contribute directly to its educational mission."

Father Dennis Dease
President Emeritus, University of St. Thomas

The permanent collections of the University of St. Thomas comprise over 1,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, stained glass, and textiles. Many of these works are on display in public areas of the libraries, offices, classrooms, dormitories, seminary buildings, the student center; and in various outdoor settings. Several areas, such as the Sculpture Garden of the O'Shaughnessy-Owens Science complex and the Bernardi Campus in Rome, have noteworthy ensembles.

Many works of art are used directly for teaching purposes in the Art History classroom, as well as specialized settings such as the Luann Dummer Center for Women. Others play a direct role in worship and meditation.

New objects are added annually, either through direct purchase or through donations. To reach as broad an audience as possible, the art collections of St. Thomas consist of three separate groupings, each with its own audience and environment:

The Gallery Collection

The Gallery Collection is the main teaching collection of the University and embraces a broad range of periods,regions, and media to serve a variety of curricular needs.  Objects are on display in classrooms by request of instructors and art can be brought directly to classes when appropriate.  There are a number of opportunities for actual, hands-on experiences with these pieces.  When the new Anderson Student Center is opened, more display areas will be available for thematically composed mini-exhibits that will change on a regular basis.

Public Collection

The Public Collection features public, large-scale works of arts, such as the commemorative statue of Archbishop IrelandConstellation Earth, and In the Beginning was the Word, that are located on the grounds of the campus. Some of the works were the result of specific building programs, such as the art of the Frey Science and Engineering Center,and the Peace Garden next to the Chapel with the statue of Our Lady of Peace, Queen of Victory. These works have been given to the university by local, national, and international donors.

Campus Collection

Art should not just be in a gallery or museum, but should also be around every corner of the campus. Not only are works from the Gallery Collection placed in public buildings, but there is a collection of works dedicated to public display in public areas of campus buildings. These works are drawn from an array of media such as textiles, drawings, and paintings, and seek to represent a global range of artists and cultures. These works will be accessible through the collection search page soon.