Visitors looking at prints by Wayne Thiebaud

History of University Galleries

In 2012, the department of University Galleries was formed to unify and professionalize three existing venues across campus, and Derrick Cartwright was appointed the department’s first Director. He was charged with building upon the already strong reputation of the separate gallery spaces, and with coordinating the highest quality exhibition programs for this campus community.

Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries and the University Print Collection

The fine art exhibition program at USD dates back to the 1980s, when Professor Therese Truitt Whitcomb began organizing installations in a converted classroom with the help of her students.  Over the next 25 years, Professor Whitcomb and others staged more than 100 exhibitions, and the gallery space in Founders Hall was expanded and formalized.  In 2002, the USD named the exhibition spaces in Founders Hall the Hoehn Family Galleries, to honor a generous supporting gift from Robert and Karen Hoehn, long-time advocates of the arts at USD.  The Hoehn Family Galleries are now dedicated to exhibiting all aspects of print culture, aided by the growing support of the University Print Collection 

David W. May American Indian Gallery and Collection

In 1995, the University of San Diego received a substantial gift of American Indian art and material culture from the family of David W. May, a former USD student.  With that gift the May Collection and Gallery was established, first in Founders Hall, and later in Serra Hall where it became a valued resource for art and anthropology students. Professor Alana Cordy-Collins stewarded the May Collection and much of the related exhibition programming from its arrival on campus until her passing in 2015. 

Fine Art Galleries and Photography Collection

Twin gallery spaces were provided in the Joan Kroc School of Peace Studies in 2003, and a number of fine art projects have been staged in those spaces since. The University Galleries now coordinates its programming with the School of Peace Studies, focusing its exhibition program on photography that highlights issues of social justice and peace.

Humanities Center Gallery

In fall 2016, the University Galleries began programming exhibitions within the University's new Humanities Center. Since that time, the gallery has become associated with a variety of vibrant programs celebrating interdisciplinary practices through visual culture as well as a setting for regular video/new media displays.