The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 10, 2013

Hillstrom displaying recent acquisitions to permanent collection

ST. PETER — Unknown to some, the Hillstrom Museum of Art fulfills holds a large permanent collection of prints, paintings and photographs that have been donated to the college or have been purchased with donated funds.

Recent acquisitions to that collection are now on display, one of the three exhibits showing concurrently in the gallery on the lower level of Gustavus Adolphus College's Jackson Campus Center.

Most of the recent acquisitions are being shown for the first time on campus. These landscapes, seascapes and figure sketches were provided by former faculty members and alumni, as well as the son of Henry Varnum Poor, an artist who was influential during the first part of the 20th Century.

Two pieces selected for the show are by artists teaching in the college's studio arts program. Priscilla Briggs, who teaches digital and darkroom photography classes, donated a Lightjet print — "Old and New (Wenzyou)." The photograph was part of her 2009 exhibit at the Hillstrom, "Fortune: Photos of China."

Gustavus art instructor Betsy Byers made a gift of an oil on canvas after Hillstrom director Don Myers approached her with a request for one of her paintings. The donated work, "Beckon II," is now on display at the Hillstrom.

"It was a good choice," Byers said. "It was created with help from a research and creativity grant from Gustavus. The grant allowed me to work on the shores of Lake Superior."

Byers is happy to have the painting remain in the permanent collection and contribute to the college's history.

"After I am retired and long after I am gone, it will still be here," Byers said.

Former students also have contributed to the collection, including Ann (Komatz) Basset and her husband, Gene, of St. Peter, who gifted a Robert Fawcett drawing, "Reclining Female Nude," to the museum.

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