DePaul Art Museum extends the University’s commitments to excellence, diversity and social concerns through educational exhibitions, collections, and programming that provide fresh perspectives on art and culture from distant continents to Chicago’s own backyard.
From its founding in 1898 DePaul University has focused on its urban setting and the importance of providing higher education to underserved populations. For many years its students were largely drawn from the Chicago area, but in the past decade enrollment has increased dramatically and now two-thirds of entering students are not residents of the city. The university’s commitment to the city and to urban issues has only increased; numerous academic initiatives focus on Chicago, particularly on addressing issues of social justice. All entering undergraduate students participate in courses related to the city and its neighborhoods (the Discover Chicago program), and many students and staff are involved in programs that focus their work directly on aspects of urban life (Community-Based Service Learning).
DePaul Art Museum is a 15,000-square-foot building on the university’s Lincoln Park campus. Staffed by museum professionals, it serves as a focal point for teaching and discussion through visual arts and material culture. It supports the educational mission of the university through its collections, exhibitions, programs, and events, which allow both students and members of the wider community to explore broadly the visual representation of ideas over time and space. Its collections and programs are diverse, but strongly represent art of the Chicago area. Many of its projects are historical or thematic in focus, but the gallery has a commitment to showing contemporary art as a means of exploring aspects of our own culture.
The museum offers a wide variety of special exhibitions in all media throughout the year, from thematic and historical exhibitions to works by contemporary artists. Recent presentations include paintings, sculpture, printmaking and installation by contemporary Iraqi artists; early twentieth-century photographs by Eugene Atget and Berenice Abbott, and old master prints by such artists as Dürer, Cranach, Rembrandt and Goya. Lectures, concerts, and special events provide additional perspectives.