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Collection Storage

About University Museum Collections

Collections are held in trust for the public and possession of collections incurs legal, social and ethical obligations to provide proper physical storage. We believe in advanced collections stewardship through the careful, sound and responsible management, and storage of the historical objects we keep for future generations.

Focus of the Permanent Collection

The purpose of the permanent collection is to preserve and make accessible an artistic legacy of the 20th and 21st centuries. The goal is to provide a foundation of key styles that represent the ever-changing face of art for our students, visitors and scholars, in part as a context for approaching new forms we can only begin to imagine today. Making selected works from the permanent collection accessible through open storage solutions, this new gallery has become the museum’s intersection for academic research, scholarly exchange, interdisciplinary collaborations, academic courses, student research and professional training. This gallery provides researchers, students, faculty, staff, and our community access to the teaching collection of the museum, while protecting and preserving each item kept for the public trust, in an open, viewable vault environment. » More …

2021 | Master of Fine Arts Thesis

Stephanie Broussard

EXHIBITION | April 5, 2021 – May 7, 2021
PROGRAM |
Friday, April 9, 2021 – TBD

ABOUT | This annual showcase is the culmination of two or more years work by the Master of Fine Arts graduate candidates. With its wide range of art-making approaches, the thesis exhibition provides a stimulating experience for faculty, students, and museum visitors. This year’s MFA candidate is Stephanie Broussard, who will be featured in a solo exhibition in the museum’s Pavilion gallery as well as virtually through the museum’s online programming.

Traveling from many places to join the cohort at WSU, Broussard engaged in an intense two-year interdisciplinary studio program and met regularly with faculty members for group and individual critiques. Visiting artists and scholars provided diverse one-on-one insight into her creative work while the artist sharpened her confidence, convictions, and skills. Their MFA Thesis Exhibition is a focused conclusion, yet it also marks an exciting transition toward professional careers. » More …

2021 | Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar

From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

EXHIBITION | September 7, 2021 – March 1, 2022
PROGRAM | TBD

ABOUT | American artist Alison Saar is known not only for her powerful sculptures—she is also a master of the art of printmaking. In both forms, she employs a personal vocabulary informed by history, race, and mythology. Her influences range from ancient Europe, Africa, and American folk art. Saar’s works narrate stories of the African American experience, moving effortlessly from the personal to the political. In many of her works, she charts the tragic history of slavery in America, but her figures symbolize defiance and strength. Other recurring images are informed by jazz, romance, and desire. » More …

2021 | Under the Same Sun and Moon: New Acquisitions from the Collection

EXHIBITION | March 1, 2021 – August 21, 2021

ABOUT | Under the Same Sun and Moon: New Acquisitions from the Collection puts on view, in most instances for the first time, selections from collection newcomers. Over the last five years, the museum has added significant works of art to its permanent collection through selective purchases and generous gifts. Highlights include a quartet of complex prints by artist Jim Hodges as well as series of watercolors by the late artist Rick Bartow. Other important artists who have had works recently acquired by the museum include Ann Hamilton, Julie Mehretu, Marie Watt, and Richard Tuttle. These works have deepened our holdings of previously collected artists and provide introductions to artists new to us. The exhibition also serves as a reminder of the generosity of many donors who understand the value of sharing great art with our community. It is only through such philanthropy that museum collections grow, and our horizons evolve. » More …

2021 | Follow the River: Portraits of the Columbia Plateau

EXHIBITION | March 1, 2021 – August 21, 2021
PROGRAM | Wednesday, March 10, 2021 – 4:00-5:00 p.m.

ABOUT | A coda to the proceeding Follow the Sun: The Holland and Orton Collections exhibition, Follow the River: Portraits of the Columbia Plateau will reframe the museum’s Worth D. Griffin Collection of Native portraiture alongside cultural materials from Plateau tribes including the Palus (Palouse) and Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) whose homelands the Washington State University Pullman campus is located upon.

In the summer of 1936, Washington State College (WSC) Fine Arts Department Chair Worth D. Griffin (with the support of WSC President E. O. Holland and the Board of Regents) began an ambitious series of oil on canvas portraits of “Indians of the Northwest tribes and other historic characters.” This commissioned project focused on prominent pioneers and tribal leaders from the Inland Northwest. It was recommended that Griffin take note of the mid-nineteenth century Pacific Railroad Survey Reports, particularly their illustrations and ethnographic descriptions of American Indians of the West. Griffin expanded upon these resources with his artistic expertise in portraiture, while dutifully engaging the ongoing and erroneous public perception of Native Americans as a vanishing race. » More …

2021 | World Without Reason: Goya’s Los Disparates

EXHIBITION | April 5, 2021 – Ongoing
PROGRAM |  Wednesday, April 21, 2021 – 4:00-5:00 p.m.

ABOUT | Dreamlike and wonderous, yet gravely dark and harrowing, are all descriptors associated with Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes’ (1746-1828) last major print cycle, Los Disparates (or Los Proverbios). Published in 1864, thirty-six years after the artist’s death, these masterful etchings are still considered to be enigmatic and ambiguous, eluding definitive explanation and interpretation. While the Spanish term “disparate” translates imperfectly to “folly”, in Goya’s time the term held harsher connotations closer in meaning to stupidity or madness. And yet, Los Disparates were born of specific circumstances referencing fanatic religious practices of the day, the plight of political prisoners, and the decadence of court life and the aristocracy. Within these remarkable etchings is a realm of witches, ghosts, and fantastical creatures that invade the mind; Goya’s troubled visions remain a potent warning against a world without reason. » More …

2020 | Betty Feves: The Earth Itself

EXHIBITION | May 26, 2020 – February 12, 2021

“I was too much the farmer’s daughter, in a sense. You know, that marvelous dirt out there that gets turned over with a plow and getting my hands dirty was the thing that turned me on.”

ABOUT | Betty Feves: The Earth Itself presents loaned and promised works by significant yet under-recognized artist Betty Whiteman Feves (1918–1985). Feves belongs to a generation of groundbreaking artists who expanded the use of clay in art. Featuring a wide-range of art from across Feves’ career, the exhibition will include early figurative and architectural forms, functional wares, bonfire pots, and large-scale sculpture. An advocate for living locally throughout her lifetime, Feves was committed to relentless experimentation with regionally-sourced materials. She created her own clay bodies and glazes from her immediate environment and the geology of the Columbia Basin provided a lifelong reservoir of inspiration. Her work continues to be exhibited nationally and internationally, and set the stage for clay to become the expressive medium it is today. » More …

Collection Study Center

Home of the Museum's Permanent Collection

Collection Study Center

The Museum’s Collection Study Center (CSC) is unique within the WSU system. While the new Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU places the arts at the heart of the student experience, the Collection Study Center provides an equally important portal for academic research and professional training through personalized access to the important works in WSU’s permanent collection. This new space, with open collection storage, viewing galleries, classroom areas, and expert collections staff will provide students opportunities to engage in academic research and courses, interdisciplinary collaborations, and professional training to further their chosen career goals.

Scope of the Collection

The Museum’s Collection was founded on a “collection of collections,” private holdings of late-19th and early-20th-century American painting representing the evolving taste and passion of individual collectors and entered the WSU public collection intact through gifts. Highlights include works of art by William Glackens, Worth Griffin, Z. Vanessa Helder, George Inness, and John Sloan.

The Collection is strong in contemporary art, especially British, European, and American prints, drawings, and photography since the 1970s. Highlights include works by many renowned artists, including Jim Dine, Helen Frankenthaler, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Jacob Lawrence, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Small but significant holdings of contemporary Native American art include works by Rick Bartow, Joe Feddersen, Ric Gendron, James Lavadour, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Contemporary glass and ceramic art are also represented. Art commissioned expressly for the Museum by Northwest artists Trimpin, Jeffry Mitchell, and Marie Watt round out the Museum’s contemporary holdings, and indicate a nascent but important collecting direction.

Search the Collection

Search our permanent collection here.

Visit the Collection

The Collection Study Center is available for tours by appointment only. To schedule a tour during open hours, please contact our Collection Manager Ann Saberi at amsaberi@wsu.edu.

Community Access | With the Collection Study Center, we have seen heightened community access and utilization of the collection. Previously this type of outreach was restricted to class groups as we lacked the infrastructure to promote our shared resource more fully. Currently we open the CSC by appointment only, but as the program grows, it may be possible to staff the collections area to maintain regular hours, providing access to the collection and student-curated exhibitions.

Faculty Partners | Additionally, the curatorial team have implemented a series of orientation workshops geared to campus faculty partners. The goal of these orientations have been to help faculty find ways to utilized collection access to support their curricula and teaching goals. We’ve already heard from many departments on campus about their enthusiasm for adapting object-based learning strategies into their pedagogy.

LOCATION | The Collection Study Center (CSC) is located on the site of the previous Museum of Art WSU, within the Fine Arts Center of the WSU Pullman campus. A generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation made the dream of a Collection Study Center for the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU’s permanent collection a reality. Check Covid-19 updates for our open hours.

 

2020 | MFA Online Exhibition

QARTHIAN

EXHIBITION | March 31 – May 9, 2020 (online exhibition during COVID-19 temporary closure)
RECEPTION | Reception has been canceled in accordance with the cancellation of WSU Mom’s Weekend

2020 | QARTHIAN MASTER OF FINE ARTS THESIS STATEMENT

You Can’t Hot Glue Your Cat Back Together

“In 2015, we moved to Sonoma County. I was content to play in the dry creek bed for a time, but eventually, I longed to wander in the bay forest. I got lost. It was assumed that I had been trampled by wild pigs. And I was left behind.

I’ve been walking North ever since. I’m trying to get back to my home. I’m a very old tuxedo cat, now. And even if I reach my home, I know I can never return to the past I long for.”

-Igor (wherabouts unknown) » More …

2020 | MFA Online Exhibition

HARRY MESTYANEK

EXHIBITION | March 31 – May 9, 2020 (online exhibition during COVID-19 temporary closure)
RECEPTION | Reception has been canceled in accordance with the cancellation of WSU Mom’s Weekend

2020 | HARRY MESTYANEK MASTER OF FINE ARTS THESIS STATEMENT

I begin by creating space and making time for the participant; to slow down, to pause, to touch, to hold. I establish equity, a sense of balance, a sense of harmony. We have something in common, something shared, a point of exchange. The participant can engage my work in a tangible way; they may choose to take part visually, physically, or both. The viewer then becomes a translator and can inhabit the work.

Minimalism and repetition enable my work to be visually accessible. Blending the time-honored practice of ceramics with contemporary digital technology is the cornerstone of my practice. » More …