The American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas engages students and the global community through preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the art of the Asmat people, in order to expand human understanding and promote intercultural awareness.
The vision of the American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas is to be a preeminent teaching collection, interdisciplinary in nature and programmatically diverse, that promotes global understanding of Asmat art and culture consistent with the mission and values of the University of St. Thomas.
More about the Museum
The American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas (AMAA@UST) is an integral part of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. It is dedicated to the art and culture of the Asmat people, who live on the southwest coast of the island of New Guinea, which is situated directly north of Australia in the southwest Pacific Ocean.
The AMAA@UST has one of the largest collection of Asmat art in the country, with more than 2,900 objects. Most of the works date from the mid 20th century to the present. The collection originally was formed by missionaries from the Crosier Fathers and Brothers, a Catholic religious Order, who worked in the Asmat region beginning in 1958. The museum had two previous homes in Hastings, Nebraska and Shoreview, Minnesota. In 2007, the Crosiers, wishing to place the collection in a setting where it would be used to educate students and the public about Asmat art and culture, gave it to the University of St. Thomas. The museum's Gallery, located on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center on the University's St. Paul campus opened in 2012.
The Gallery is divided into two sections: a permanent section, which displays Asmat ancestor poles (bis), canoes, and other large-scale works and a rotating exhibition section, which presents regularly changing exhibitions on different aspects of Asmat art and culture using works drawn from the collection. The museum’s collection continues to grow and the AMAA@UST forms an integral part of the University’s broader commitment to fostering respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and the artistic achievements of all of humanity and of the Department of Art History’s dedication to teaching global arts in context.