New art museum opening scheduled for May

The newest addition to the University’s large collection of art, statues and galleries is soon to open its doors to the public. Though an exact date has not yet been determined, the Saint Louis University Museum of Art should open sometime in May.

Located at 3663 Lindell Blvd. in O’Donnell Hall, the former home of the School of Public Health, the museum has been under construction and renovations since August 2001.

The museum will house pieces from the Pere Marquette Gallery in DuBourg Hall, as well as the entire collection of Asian art from the MacLennan Gallery, formerly located in the Busch Memorial Center. Along with these collections, student artwork and donated collections will be displayed. Museum Curator Nanette Boileau said there will also be a few surprise collections.

“I am looking forward to students coming to visit the museum,” Boileau said. “This is a great facility and opportunity for the University.” She said the Jesuit tradition has always had a connection with arts and education.

“This should be a great chance for fine and performing arts students to learn from other artists and to see how those artists look at the world,” Boileau said. “It will be a wonderful asset.”

The opening of the museum will also create the opportunity for donated paintings and memorabilia from the Cartier collection to be displayed for the first time since 1994, Boileau said.

The project was rumored to cost $7 million, but according to Bridget Fletcher, assistant to University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., that is not true. Fletcher did not disclose the actual amount of money spent on the renovation of the building. She did say that it was funded by a number of donors.

“We would like to have a complementary relationship with the museum,” said Terrence Dempsey, S.J., curator of the Museum of Contemporary and Religious Arts (MOCRA) and assistant professor in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts.

Fletcher also thought that the museum should be a plus for the University. “The opening will have a positive impact on MOCRA, Cupples House and Pere Marquette Gallery,” she said.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, Boileau said.

She said they decided on these hours of operation so that visitors could visit other facilities while on campus, such as Bannister House.

The museum is currently looking for students to fill numerous summer positions, including museum attendants, information-desk attendants, greeters and docents and volunteers who take visitors through the new art museum on tours. Any student interested should contact Boileau at (314) 977-3398.