Fifty Golden Years: Highlights from the Permanent Collection

Exhibition Dates: 
Saturday, Sep 15, 2007 to Sunday, Dec 23, 2007

Since its foundation, the Museum of Art and Archaeology has grown to be the third largest art museum in Missouri, with collections representing five millennia of the world’s artistic legacy. Beginning with the acquisition of just seventeen objects in 1957, the holdings have grown to include over 14,000 objects. Fifty years of collecting, scholarship, excavation, and educational outreach to the state and beyond have brought the Museum to its distinguished status among American university museums. This exhibition marked the Museum’s golden anniversary.

In the late 1940s, Drs. Saul and Gladys Weinberg arrived in Missouri to continue their careers in classical archaeology. Saul Weinberg had been appointed to the MU faculty, while Gladys Weinberg planned to continue her career as an independent scholar. But when the university approved the purchase of seventeen antiquities to serve as a study collection, the Museum was created. Saul Weinberg became its first director and Gladys Weinberg served as its first curator of ancient art. The pair immediately began seeking new acquisitions to the nascent collection. They could not yet imagine what they had begun.

Fifty years later, the collections have grown to encompass the art of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, Europe from the Middle Ages to the present, America, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Pre-Columbian Meso- and South America. Benefactors throughout the years have been many, and galleries now bear the names of those who played key roles.

The objects included here are not thematically unified, but are representative of each of the Museum’s major collections. The exhibition focused on works that are seldom seen, are outstanding examples of their kind, and represent a broad range of cultures and mediums.

Antiquities Collection
European & American
The Non-Western Collections

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"I still remember the feeling of awe and disbelief when I was alone and walked in the room with those casts." --Ruth Tofle, chair of architecture, winner of the 2013 distinguished faculty award from the MU Alumni Association