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“Through its exhibitions and collections, the museum allows students and faculty to expand the walls of the classroom,” says Rebecca M. Schapp, the museum’s director. An example of this is the museum’s California History Collection, which includes Native American art and artifacts from the pre-European contact period as well as a Mission Collection. Each year, the museum gives free tours of the collection to thousands of children from Santa Clara Valley, bringing to life their region’s history.
Founded in 1955 through a bequest from Isabel de Saisset in memory of her brother Ernest, the museum’s permanent collection includes more than 10,000 objects, including Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and 19th-century prints, as well as Modernist prints by Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso. The museum also has an extensive collection of contemporary prints, with a special emphasis on artists from the San Francisco Bay Area, such as Robert Arneson, Richard Diebenkorn, and Nathan Oliveira. The museum's photography collection includes hundreds of prints by artists
The museum also offers essential hands-on internships to SCU art students, and faculty members often use the exhibitions to enhance classroom lessons. This fall, the museum is presenting two photography exhibitions that explore the tragedy of the Holocaust. In conjunction, the museum is co-sponsoring a special class, Representing the Holocaust, for learners age 50 and older through SCU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
The de Saisset Museum offers free admission and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.scu.edu/desaisset.
—Victoria Hendel De La O is a writer/editor for the SCU Office of Communications and Marketing.