Director's Note

Ten busy years have passed since the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum celebrated the beginnings of a new chapter in our history of innovation and collaboration in art and design. The Fumihiko Maki-designed Museum building and Walker Hall, both of which opened in fall 2006, joined the historic Bixby, Steinberg, and Givens Halls, creating a collective campus for the arts on Washington University’s Danforth Campus.

Since then we have welcomed countless students, scholars, and visitors from campus, the region, and beyond to experience our exhibitions and accompanying catalogs, public events, and educational programs. The American Alliance of Museums renewed our national accreditation, and we were awarded membership in the Association of Art Museum Directors. We have launched important initiatives, such as the University-wide Art on Campus program and the KARE program for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. In support of these efforts, we began a membership program featuring the two special groups Women and the Kemper and the Kemper Student Council, both of which offer unique engagement designed for those communities.

We are honoring these last ten years with an anniversary celebration to welcome and recognize the supporters, members, and friends like you who have helped us become who we are today. As a special highlight, the Museum commissioned Ebony G. Patterson (MFA06), an alumna of the Sam Fox School’s Graduate School of Art and an emerging artist of international renown, to design a large-scale edible artwork for the occasion, to be shared by all.

To celebrate the collection that is the core of all we do, selections are displayed throughout the building. Organized chronologically and highlighting the concepts real, radical, and psychological as cornerstones for artistic inquiry from the 19th century to today, The Collection on Display weaves together our history and our present.

In association with this, we are pleased to announce the publication of Spotlights: Collected by the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, an anthology of essays examining fifty artworks from the collection. The texts were researched and written by more than thirty authors, including permanent and visiting faculty and graduate students from the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences and the Sam Fox School, as well as the Museum’s curators and outside art historians.

The coming academic year is also a time of preparing for the future. May 2017 will mark the groundbreaking of major construction on the east end of campus. Nestled into the newly landscaped front entrance to the University will be the long-awaited Anabeth and John Weil Hall for graduate study in art, architecture, and design, along with a building for the School of Engineering, Henry A. and Elvira H. Jubel Hall; two welcome pavilions; and an underground parking facility. Last but not least, with the incredible support and foresight of David Kemper and his family, the Museum will expand with a new main entrance and lobby and the new James M. Kemper Gallery, designed to display more of the Museum’s preeminent collection.

As we enter this exciting and pivotal year, I invite you to join us in celebrating both the past and the future. I look forward to welcoming you throughout our 10th-anniversary year!

With best wishes,


Sabine Eckmann, PhD
William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator