Recently, Saint Louis University’s Museum of Arts (SLUMA) was designated as one of the top 10 university art museums worth exploring by USA Today. Other university museums with this impressive distinction include Yale University Art Gallery and Princeton University Art Museum.
Petruta Lipan, Executive Director of Museums and Galleries, said, “for Saint Louis University to have a museum of this caliber really brings a sense of pride to the student body and administration.” This honor confirms that all the hard work put in to raise the museum to its current status has paid off.
SLUMA got its start in 2002 when the building was acquired by SLU, and was eventually retrofitted to meet the standards of a museum. Before becoming SLUMA, the building housed the St. Louis Club. The club was actually an important part of St. Louis social life in the early 1900s. Prominent figures—including presidents—once visited this building. This astounding building with such a rich history sits just outside of SLU’s North Campus boundaries.
Since SLUMA’s inception, it has collected countless works to create a wide variety of exhibitions, including pieces from the 20th century.
“The breadth of our collections and the diversity of our exhibitions sets SLUMA apart from other campus art museums,” said Lipan. SLUMA proves they continually think outside of the box through these exhibitions, from interdisciplinary exhibitions and collections from Asian art to tactile art to Western Jesuit Missions to science exhibitions, among many more. Other works include a plastic exhibit and a persuasive politics exhibition that will debut in the fall. Artwork by Picasso, Braque and many other famous artists have also been exhibited at SLUMA throughout its lifetime.
Having a campus Museum is so important to the University as a whole because students can learn so much about art and history through direct contact with it. They can also explore what careers and areas of interest are in this field through job opportunities and internships at SLUMA. Students are always encouraged to come visit the museum to explore the collections and exhibits, or even just to have a quiet space to study surrounded by works of art.
This recognition that SLUMA received will surely bring about more improvements and advancements to the museum. Lipan said, “This makes us more excited to want to do more and push the boundaries even further with this new momentum.” During this exciting time, there are endless possibilities for what SLUMA will do next.