The museum’s African collection represents one of the great strengths in our holdings. The collection was formed through the generous donations of faculty, friends and alumni, and maintains historical and contemporary works created by artists from across the continent. Areas of focus include East African objects, from the Maasai and Pokot cultures of Kenya, as well an expansive representation of objects from the Lobi culture of Burkina Faso. The collection also includes an especially broad and deep selection of ceramics from around the continent.
The museum’s Asian collection includes extensive examples of 19th- and 20th-century Japanese ukiyo-e prints, including works by major artists such as Hokusai, Shunchō, Sharaku, Hiroshige Ando, and Utamaro Kitagawa. The collection also includes examples of Japanese ceramics, Chinese calligraphy, decorative art from Tibet, and contemporary art, such as a sculpture by Fang Lijun (born Handan, China, 1963). Asian art represents an area in which the museum would benefit from greater breadth of cultures and media.
European Art before 1900
Centered around the Hartford-Tandstad Collection, donated to the museum in 2011, the museum’s European holdings primarily date from the late Renaissance through the late 19th century, and include paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, and decorative art. Lithographs by Honoré-Victorin Daumier (France, 1808–1879) represent another significant area of this collection, with nearly 250 prints by this important printmaker and social critic, including many of his best-known series.
Modern and Contemporary Art
The museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art is especially strong in works from the United States after 1960. Gifts made in the 1980s to the University from collectors John and Kimiko Powers form the foundation of the collection, which was significantly augmented by Polly and Mark Addison after the museum’s founding in 2009. Andy Warhol is especially well represented, thanks to gifts from the Powers, the Addisons, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
Photography is another area strength, including a large-format portfolio by Wolfgang Voltz and a large collection of Soviet-era images by Georgi Zelma, among many other photographs. Building on a portfolio of Mexican prints from the Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP), growth of this collection has been particularly focused on Latin American art of the 20th century, furthered, since 2018, by the Dale Pruce and Leslie Walker Latin American Art Acquisition fund. The museum is committed to addressing underrepresented artists of this important area of our collection, especially by expanding our collection of contemporary works by artists of the African Diaspora.
Native North American Art
The museum’s collection of Native North American art features historic and contemporary work from across the continent, particularly by artists from the American Southwest and Arctic. Highlights from the collection are featured in a semi-permanent exhibition, Survivance, a rotating display of objects curated by CSU students supervised by Dr. Emily Moore, a specialist in this area, and working with living artists to accurately and respectfully interpret these works. The museum actively pursues growth in the collection of contemporary works by Indigenous artists.
The museum’s small but important collection of Oceanic objects includes Australian bark paintings, carvings from Papua New Guinea,and a 17-foot Waga outrigger canoe.