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About the Elmhurst Art Collection

World-Class Art, Right on Campus

Elmhurst’s collection of Chicago Imagist and Abstractionist art is among the best in the nation.

Focusing on artists working in Chicago between about 1950 and the present, the collection displays a broad range of artistic ideas and influences.

The collection dates to 1971, when Elmhurst received federal funding to purchase art for the newly built A.C. Buehler Library. The University focused its collection on works by a group of emerging and affordable Chicago artists—a group that would later be known as the Chicago Imagists.

The first 10 pieces included Jim Nutt’s Toot Toot Woo Woo, Roger Brown’s Performance, Christina Ramberg’s Glimpsed, and Miyoko Ito’s Chinoiserie.

Over the years, the University has added many more works to the collection, thanks to matching grants from the Illinois Arts Council, gifts from artists, and generous donors. Today, the University’s professional collection comprises more than 150 works of art, including many important works by major Imagists and Abstractionists.

Visit the Collection—When It Is Safe to Do So

The Elmhurst University Art Collection is not available for viewing while Illinois guidelines on gatherings of 10 or more people remain in place. When it is safe to do so, we look forward to welcoming visitors to browse our artwork in the A.C. Buehler Library on campus.

In the meantime, you can view pieces from the collection virtually.

The University community is mourning the loss of our curator and director of exhibitions, Suellen Rocca, a trailblazing artist herself. Please direct inquiries about the University Art Collection to Professor Mary Lou Stewart.

Elmhurst University Art Collection Across the Globe

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