Fine Arts Collection
The Luther College Fine Arts Collection is supervised by Curator, Kate Elliott, with assistance from Gallery Coordinator, David Kamm. Numbering over 1,600 works, the Collection contains art dating from ca. 500 BCE to the present but focuses on art produced in the 20th century. While many of the artists represented in the Collection originated from the upper Midwest, exemplified by Orville Running, many notable works were created by artists outside that area. Collection concentrations include works by California potter, Marguerite Wildenhain; German Expressionist, Gerhard Marcks; and New York artist, Frans Wildenhain. Norwegian-American art, principally represented by the artist Herbjørn Gausta; pre-Colombian pottery; and Inuit sculptures are also prominent elements of the Fine Arts Collection
The Fine Arts Collection began in the 19th century when Herbjørn Gausta, noted Norwegian-American artist and Luther College art faculty member, donated over thirty works to the college. This initial gift was augmented by several large bequests (Named Collections) which together built the core collection. During the early years of Luther College’s development, the Fine Arts Collection was informally considered part of the library’s caretaking responsibilities. The art was stored and displayed in Koren until the opening of Preus Library in 1969 and was maintained by the Library until 2010, when the collection was transferred to the Art Department. It is now supervised by the Curator and Art Historian, Kate Elliott, with the assistance of Gallery Coordinator, David Kamm, and a team of student curators. The students not only manage the daily curatorial work, they also research and create exhibitions of collection objects. The team of student curators is expanding a secondary Teaching Collection to be regularly utilized for classes in a variety of subject areas.