The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, is committed to preserving and developing its art collection and continuing its legacy of collecting significant art of the time; providing excellence in art historical scholarship, education, and exhibition; inspiring social and intellectual inquiry into the connections between art and contemporary life; and engaging audiences on campus, in the local community, across the nation, and worldwide.

History and Collections

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum dates back to 1881 with the founding of the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts at Washington University. Its collection was formed in large part by acquiring significant works by artists of the time, a legacy that continues today. Now one of the finest university collections in the United States, the Museum contains strong holdings of 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century European and American paintings, sculptures, prints, installations, and photographs. The collection also includes some Egyptian and Greek antiquities and more than one hundred Old Master prints.

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

The Kemper Art Museum is part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University, which was established in 2005 to link strong studio programs in art and architecture with the resources and programs of the Museum. The Sam Fox School is dedicated to the creation, study, and exhibition of multidisciplinary and collaborative work with an emphasis on fostering creativity and intellectual exchange.

Mildred Lane Kemper

Mildred Lane Kemper graduated from Wellesley College and was a lifelong resident of Kansas City, MO. She was a trustee of Wellesley College for many years and had an enduring interest in higher education. Mrs. Kemper was the beloved wife of James M. Kemper, Jr., chairman emeritus of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., and mother of David W. Kemper, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., and chairman of Washington University's Board of Trustees. Mrs. Kemper was a lifelong advocate of higher education and a patron of the arts. Together with David's wife, Dotty Kemper, and the William T. Kemper Foundation, James and David Kemper have named the new home for the University's renowned art collection in her memory.

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