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January 2015

Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum Celebrates 60 Years

Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum is celebrating 60 years of curating California's stories this month, with the dedication of the museum's first permanent outdoor sculpture by world-renowned artist Fletcher Benton.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 26, 2015-- Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum is celebrating 60 years of curating California’s stories this month,  with the dedication of the museum’s first permanent outdoor sculpture.The stunning showpiece “Going Around the Corner with X,” created and donated by world- renowned artist Fletcher Benton, will be dedicated at a ceremony Jan. 29.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to mark such a special milestone with this one- of- a- kind piece. The generous gift fits perfectly into our goals to acquire dynamic and compelling work by noted California artists,” said Museum Director Rebecca Schapp, who has seen the museum’s holdings increase 50 percent in her 33 years at SCU.
The museum’s collection now numbers more than 11,600 pieces. The entire eclectic collection includes scores of fascinating art and historical pieces, from 17th century paintings and Mission-era liturgical vestments to 21st century prints and sculptures. Every century and art movement in between is represented, with works by both internationally renowned and under-recognized artists.
“The de Saisset Museum is a true gem in Silicon Valley. Its compelling exhibits reflect the creative artistic energy of the Bay Area,” said SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. “As we celebrate the Museum’s 60th year, we are grateful to the many artists, innovators, curators, donors and visitors who make it possible.”
One of the de Saisset’s most popular and long-running attractions includes the California History exhibit featuring the prominent Ohlone tule house replica. It tells the story of Santa Clara Valley’s first inhabitants. Thousands of California school children and visitors from around the world come to see the exhibit every year.
“Watching children’s faces light up as they encounter real objects from California’s past is priceless, “ said assistant director of exhibitions and programs Lindsey Kouvaris, who is currently working with the museum staff to renovate the exhibit. “Seeing the exhibition not only helps them understand the stories of the past, but highlights their roles in building the stories of the future.”
The California History exhibit now includes a space where visitors can share their own California story. The de Saisset staff also created an iBooks Textbook on Mission Santa Clara, the first-ever to feature a California mission. The iBook is on display in the gallery and also available for visitors to download for free.
The de Saisset will celebrate its 60th anniversary with the dedication of the Benton sculpture followed by a reception January 29 at 6:30 p.m.
About the de Saisset Museum
The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay’s free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the Santa Clara University campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The de Saisset Museum supports Santa Clara University’s goal of educating the whole person through a diverse and accessible range of exhibitions, collections, and educational programs that highlight the art and history of the San Francisco Bay Area. As a center for lifelong learning, the de Saisset facilitates discovery, experience, and inspiration through engaging objects of art and history.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see
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