Celebrating Ideas: Bridging Communities with Augustana's Liberal Arts Through the AGES

March 18, 2011 - May 28, 2011
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Celebrating Ideas: Bridging Communities with Augustana's Liberal Arts Through the AGES


In celebration of Augustana’s 150th anniversary, a rich and diverse art historical overview of pieces from the Augustana College Art Collection, especially works pertinent to Augustana General Education Studies (AGES), will be exhibited at the Figge Art Museum. Augustana is pleased to share this interdisciplinary project and collection across the Mississippi River at the Figge, reinforcing traditional bridges between institutions toward enriching communities. Augustana’s mission to integrate the art holdings as a teaching collection for the college and community models the Figge’s aim to become an educational resource for art and art history.

This exhibition was made possible through intentional building of the Augustana College Art Collection. Originating primarily in Swedish-American art, the collection significantly expanded through the integral vision of alumnus donor Paul A. Anderson, and now represents multiple cultures spanning ancient through contemporary times. This key benefactor established a chair whose mission includes constructing an art history collection—represented by more than half of the Figge exhibition—including such notables as Rembrandt, Goya, Boudin, Degas, Cassatt, Lautrec, Matisse, Picasso and Warhol. This educational mission has inspired further gifts from alumni, donors and dealers, resulting in a distinctive, effective art history teaching collection and programming that continue to grow in depth and breadth.

Many works on display are discussed by Augustana faculty and student contributors in the accompanying Liberal Arts through the AGES: A Sesquicentennial Celebration catalogue. This project for first-year students was envisioned and edited by Dr. Catherine Carter Goebel, Paul A. Anderson Chair in the Arts, and includes contributions by Augustana President Steven Bahls, Interim Dean Ellen Hay, Dr. Taddy Kalas, Dr. Emil Kramer and Sherry Maurer. Augustana’s unprecedented collaborative exhibition and catalogue bridge areas across the curriculum through shared ideas, including research and publication by faculty members and students representing a wide variety of disciplines as diverse as Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Communication Studies, French, Mathematics and Sociology.

Augustana art history majors will serve as docents for the exhibition. Copies of Liberal Arts through the AGES are available courtesy of the Paul A. Anderson Chair in the Arts. The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Goebel, Paul A. Anderson Chair in the Arts, Professor and Chair of Art History, and Dr. Mary Em Kirn, Professor Emerita of Art History. This collaborative endeavor is partially funded by a grant from the Swedish Council of America and continued support through the Paul A. Anderson Chair in the Arts, the Department of Art History and the Augustana College Art Museum, as well as generous faculty, administrative, student and donor contributors.

On view until
May 29, 2011


images: Attributed to Louis-Eugène Boudin, The Beach at Trouville, ca. 1864, oil on canvas
Lent Courtesy of Private Collection in Tribute to Steven Bahls, President, Augustana College

Attributed to the Middle Apulian “Milan Orpheus Group,” Red-figure Dish…., ca. 340–330 B.C.E., ceramic, Paul A. Anderson Chair in the Arts Purchase, Augustana College Art Collection.


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