The Gallery Collections
In 1969, under the advisement of English Professor Catherine Cater, the student government of North Dakota State University began investing a portion of the student activity fee to purchase fine art for the student body. A group of students, faculty, and staff began meeting to explore various funding opportunities and, with matching funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, began purchasing contemporary art. Today, the art collection has grown to over 400 pieces. Areas of focus within the collection include contemporary Native American art, Midwestern regional art, and work by NDSU students and alumni.
Student Art Collection
The Student Art Collection is the MU Gallery’s oldest collection and is comprised of work by modern and contemporary American artists, including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Judy Chicago, Fritz Scholder, Oscar Howe, Ron Davis, Philip Pearlstein, James Rosenquist and Frank Stella. Works were purchased through annual purchase awards from Student Government, and an advisory committee would acquire works through art dealers and regional juried art exhibits.
The Memorial Union Collection
This diverse collection includes work by renowned international artists, former North Dakota State University students, visiting artists, and a sub-section of poster prints. In the past, the Memorial Union frequently provided purchase awards for student and visiting artists, and these awards built this collection. Artists represented by this collection include Francisco Goya, Joan Miro, Walter Piehl Jr., Judith Altobell, Theodore Waddell, Martina Lopez, and Richard Bresnahan.
The Printmaking Education and Research Studio (PEARS) Collection
The Printmaking Education and Research Studio (PEARS) Collection represents a partnership with the NDSU Visual Arts Department and PEARS. Established in 1999, the PEARS program promotes printmaking production, education and innovation in the Midwest. The studio, sponsored by NDSU Division of Fine Arts and Department of Visual Arts, emphasizes new work, ideas and methods, and facilitates interaction among a diverse audience; the studio strives to be an advocate for understanding the past and shaping the future of creative printmaking. The MU Gallery PEARS collection is comprised of work by visiting and local artists, including Star Wallowing Bull, frji echeverria, Wayne Kimball, James Falck, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, and Aaron Wilson.
The Ralph Engel Memorial Collection
The Ralph Engel Memorial Collection was left to North Dakota State University students as part of the Engel estate upon his passing. Engel was a member of the NDSU English Department from 1955 - 1975. Over the years, he collected art from local, regional and national artists, including Leonard Baskin, Pablo Picasso, Utagawa Toyokuni III, Robert Nelson, Johnny Friedlander, Ben Shahn, Joan Miro, Jean Dubuffet, and Charles Beck.
The NDSU Collection
The NDSU Collection is comprised of works that have been donated to North Dakota State University over the years and have been housed within the Visual Arts & Gallery Program. Artists represented in this collection include Ben Shahn, Robert Nelson, George Pfeifer, Gustav Vigiland, Tracy Linder, Walter Piehl, Jr., Theodore Waddell, frje echeverria, and Leo Kim.
The Lakeside Studio Collection
The Lakeside Studio Collection was donated by the Lakeside Studio Gallery in Lakeside, Michigan in 1977. The Gallery hosted a summer workshop for master printmakers, and this particular summer 15 printmakers from around the country retreated to the shores of Lakeside Michigan for the summer to learn new processes and create art. Artists include Sigmund Abeles, Richard Black, Harvey Breverman, Herb Jackson, Raymond Kercui, Stanley Lea, Robert Malone, Will Peterson, David Shapiro and Robert Weaver.