@ Richard F. Brush Art Gallery


The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery aims to strengthen community by creating a sense of belonging for all who visit, teach, and learn in its spaces, both physically and virtually. In accordance with St. Lawrence University’s acknowledgement of “the need to challenge previous habits and assumptions understanding the structures of power and injustice in which they exist,” we enact our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility by prioritizing tangible, ongoing steps to diversify exhibitions and the permanent collection, to encourage participation and feedback from diverse communities, and to create an accessible environment. We work to elevate and amplify the voices and creative artistic expressions of those who have been historically marginalized, either explicitly or implicitly, and Gallery resources at all levels – staffing, funding, exhibition and program opportunities, and acquisitions – will be invested in these activities.

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery is to acquire, preserve, interpret, exhibit, and otherwise make accessible works of art for the benefit of a variety of audiences in support of the educational goals and curricular activities of the University.

Programs and activities are designed to balance a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary objectives in order to recognize the diverse functions and meanings of art and to provide a forum for creative and critical expression by artists, curators, scholars, teachers, students, and the community at large.

Named in recognition of the generosity of Richard F. Brush ’52, the Gallery is an academic resource of St. Lawrence University, an independent liberal arts institution.

Approved by SLU’s Library and Art Gallery Committee, October 2022.


Accessibility Information:

Handicapped-accessible parking spaces are available in H Lot near Vilas Hall. To locate the parking lot you can use the Campus Map and the “highlight buildings” by name feature.

The entrances to the Griffiths Arts Center and the Noble Center are wheelchair-accessible. From the entrance to the Noble Center, turn left and enter the gallery through the Gulick Theatre lobby. From the Griffiths Arts Center entrance, turn right and continue through the building until you reach the gallery.

For accessibility information covering all of the various venues on the St Lawrence campus, see Venues, Parking & Handicapped Access maintained by the Music department.

A gender-neutral bathroom is located behind the printmaking studio in the Noble Center.



Main Gallery
Monday – Thursday 12-8pm
Friday – Saturday 12-5pm

Hallway Gallery
Monday – Sunday 7am – 12pm


The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery is located between the Griffiths Art Center and the Noble Center on the St Lawrence University campus in Canton, New York. See the campus map for details

The gallery is free and open to the public during the academic year and is closed for University breaks.



The exhibitions program supports the mission of the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery and the educational goals of St. Lawrence University. Exhibitions at the gallery are intended to enrich the liberal arts curriculum of the University and to provide an educational and scholarly forum outside the classroom, laboratory, and studio. Faculty and student participation are essential to the exhibition program, from research and planning to installations and related educational programs. Faculty are encouraged to utilize exhibitions in their courses and to engage students in the study of original works of art.

The rotating exhibitions program is broadly based, presenting diverse media and genres. Contemporary and historical exhibitions include creative work by regional, national, and international artists. Exhibitions are organized and curated by gallery staff, University faculty, guest curators, and traveling exhibitions organizations, drawing objects from the University’s permanent collection, museums and arts institutions, artists, private lenders, and commercial galleries. By presenting significant works and exhibitions utilizing high standards of display, the gallery strives to be recognized for excellence in aesthetics and scholarly and cultural activities.

The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery presents a program of rotating individual and group exhibitions in three adjacent galleries. The exhibition schedule is planned to recognize the four-year tenure of individual students at St. Lawrence. The annual exhibitions schedule includes exhibition(s) directly related to the scholarly and classroom needs of faculty of the Department of Art and Art History, exhibitions(s) organized from the permanent collection, and a senior seminar exhibition. One exhibition each year is designated the Barnes Endowment exhibition, in recognition of the generosity of Carlyle and Betty Barnes, parents of three St. Lawrence graduates.

The gallery accepts exhibition proposals from faculty, students, staff, independent artists, and curators. After consultation with the gallery director, proposals are submitted in writing and include a description of the exhibition and its goals, a list of artists and/or objects, and a preliminary budget. After feasibility is determined, responsibilities and resources for projects are negotiated utilizing the gallery’s exhibition checklist. Gallery staff meet with art department faculty as needed to discuss proposals and to recommend an exhibitions schedule. The gallery director is responsible for determining and implementing the exhibitions program in recognition of the objectives described in this policy.

The exhibitions program is complemented by related educational materials and activities such as catalogues and instructional texts, public lectures and panel discussions, demonstrations, and critiques devised by faculty, students, and staff. Individual and class tours are provided by gallery staff, students, curators, and artists upon request. The gallery seeks to make exhibitions and activities available to the St. Lawrence and regional communities through regular daytime, evening, and weekend hours or by appointment.

Approved by the Library and Art Gallery Committee and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery is an academic resource of St. Lawrence University and serves as the curator of its permanent collection of over 7,000 art objects and artifacts. As set forth in its Mission Statement, the gallery’s purpose is to “acquire, preserve, interpret, exhibit, and otherwise provide access to works of art” and to enhance the University’s academic programs and the cultural life of the community at large. 

Twentieth and twenty-first-century American and European works on paper, including prints, photographs, drawings, and artists’ books and portfolios, represent the strengths of the permanent collection. Significant holdings in nineteenth and twentieth-century American and European painting and sculpture enhance ongoing programs of study at St. Lawrence University, as do holdings in Canadian Inuit prints, drawings, and carvings; Tibetan Buddhist thangka paintings and ritual objects; and contemporary global street art and character design.

The University views its collection primarily as an educational resource. As such, original art objects and artifacts serve a variety of pedagogical objectives, which include the following:

  • to inspire creative and analytical work across the academic disciplines;
  • to teach, through first-hand study, strategies, and techniques of artistic creation and production;
  • to teach about historical and contemporary cultures;
  • to teach museology through the direct practice of museum display and interpretation;
  • to make art objects available to scholars, museums, and educational institutions for purposes of exhibition, research, or education.

The diversity of these objectives and the inevitability of change within the institution’s curricular initiatives require the gallery director to exercise discretion in balancing the gallery’s various objectives. Therefore, the director will periodically re-examine collection development goals in conjunction with appropriate administrative and advisory bodies. 

In general, the Acquisitions Policy and Deaccessions Policy give the director the authority:

  • to determine acquisitions and deaccessions by a variety of criteria, which may include, but are not restricted to, quality judgments, usefulness for teaching purposes, and market value;
  • to accept or decline purchases or gifts based on practical considerations and broader goals of collection development;
  • to build upon existing strengths of the collection;
  • to reflect the University’s curricular initiatives;
  • to acquire works indicative of new directions in the arts.

Named in recognition of the generosity of Richard F. Brush ’52, the gallery is an academic resource of St. Lawrence University, an independent liberal arts institution.

Approved by the Library and Art Gallery Committee and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

To fulfill the objectives set forth in the Collection Development Statement, the Gallery will acquire, through gift or purchase, art objects and artifacts for accession into the University’s permanent collection. 

Criteria for acquisitions

Gifts or purchases of antiquities will only be recommended if in agreement with the United States federal policy as outlined in the 1983 Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, which prohibits the illicit import, export, and transfer or ownership of cultural property. 

Transfer of objects

The University will insure objects in the permanent collection at current appraised values upon legal and physical transfer. For this purpose, documentation should be provided by the donor or seller stating:

  • current proof of ownership including, if available, bill of sale, artist, title, medium, size, date of execution, edition number, signature, and condition/conservation histories;
  • current appraised value of the object by an independent licensed appraiser or other expert, as indicated by the Gallery Director;
  • provenance and a history of appraisals, if available.

All acquisitions are irrevocable upon legal and physical transfer.

Procedures for the purchase of objects

Each purchased object will be assigned an accession number and be properly documented. Records will be permanently maintained by the Assistant Director, and duplicate records will be retained by University Campus Support Services. 

The Gallery will issue a letter of thanks, as appropriate. 

Procedures for the acquisition of gifts 

Upon the donation of an object, a University Gift Receipt from the Development office and a letter of thanks from the Gallery will be issued. Both will set forth an adequate description of the object and the conditions of transfer. 

Each gift will be assigned an accession number and be properly documented. Records will be permanently maintained by the Assistant Director, and duplicate records will be retained by University Campus Support Services. 

Costs for appraisals, shipping, shipping insurance, and display of a gift may be assumed by the University, the donor, and/or other sources in coordination with the University Development office. 

The Gallery will grant any donor the right of anonymity. 

Approved by the Library and Art Gallery Committee and the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Deaccessions Policy

To fulfill the objectives set forth in the Collection Development Statement (http://stlawu.edu/gallery/about/collection.php), the gallery will implement a deaccessioning process whereby art objects and artifacts are permanently removed from the University’s permanent collection. Deaccessioning is considered a proper function of collections management and development. Its purpose is to enhance the quality, integrity, and teaching capacity of a collection without violating legal or ethical obligations.

Criteria for deaccessions

The decision to deaccession any object from the University’s permanent collection is based on, but not limited to, these criteria:
• the object is no longer relevant or useful for teaching or research;
• the University is unable to preserve the object properly;
• the object has deteriorated beyond usefulness or reasonable repair;
• the object duplicates other objects in the collection;
• the object’s removal will provide the means for improving or strengthening the collection to further the gallery’s mission and goals;
• the object is requested for repatriation by aboriginal groups or foreign governments.

Recommendations for deaccessions

The gallery director will submit written recommendations for deaccessions to the Library and Art Gallery Committee, in consultation with faculty in Art & Art History, Anthropology, Religious Studies, and/or other relevant departments and programs. In addition, a written recommendation to deaccession will be submitted to the University’s senior staff, including the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Vice Presidents for University Advancement and for Finance and Treasurer. The recommendation will include an evaluation of the object and the reason for and method of its proposed removal. Recommendations may require consultation with external scholars, curators, conservators, and/or other experts. Final recommendations for deaccessions must be approved by the University President.

Removal of objects and proper use of funds generated from sales

The object to be deaccessioned will be sold at a widely publicized public auction conducted by a reputable purveyor who will determine fair market value. An independent appraisal may be conducted, if necessary. When applicable and to the extent possible, the University will notify artists, donors, or heirs of the intention to sell. The University will not return objects to original artists, donors, or heirs.
Following the 2016 American Alliance of Museums (AAM) report, entitled “Direct Care of Collections: Ethics, Guidelines, and Recommendations,” proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned art objects will be used strategically for the purpose of acquiring new art objects for the permanent collection or for the direct care of existing art objects in the collection, such as preservation, conservation, and archival museum-standard framing and housing. Digitization projects may also be considered acceptable if such projects extend the life of art objects through reduced handling and wear.

According to the 2016 AAM report, an institution’s “governing authority [shall] place the funds realized from the sale of deaccessioned objects in a segregated or identifiable account” that can accumulate over time in order to make the best strategic use of funds. Therefore, income generated from the sales of artwork through public auction will be placed in a University quasi-endowment. Interest gained from such income will then be added annually to a restricted gallery budget that rolls over from year to year. On certain occasions and with written approval from the Library and Art Gallery Committee and from the University’s President and senior staff, principal income from the account may be used for acquisitions and/or large-scale comprehensive projects, such as appraisals.

Deaccession-related income cannot be used toward the University’s operating or capital expenditures or for gallery staffing, construction, renovations, capital projects, or other major costs normally assumed by the University. St. Lawrence University senior staff, gallery staff, and anyone else involved in the decision to deaccession art objects are not permitted to acquire deaccessioned art objects under any circumstances. Funds from deaccessioning will not be used for personal gain.

Procedures for deaccessioning

Deaccessioning will be documented in writing, and the original documents pertaining to the deaccession will be kept on file permanently with the gallery. In addition, annual inventories of the collection will be updated and sent to University Campus Support Services. The written deaccession record will include:

• the names and titles of individuals involved in the process, and the date of deaccession;
• the initial recommendation by the gallery director;
• the reason(s) for deaccessioning;
• a description and condition report of the object being deaccessioned;
• the St. Lawrence University identification number;
• evidence of clear and unrestricted title of the University to the object;
• photographic documentation of deaccessioned object.
In cases of repatriation, the following written documentation will also include:
• a formal request for repatriation by aboriginal group or foreign government;
• the name and location of the receiving museum, agency, institution, or purchaser, or aboriginal group or foreign country;
• evidence from the receiving agency, aboriginal group, or foreign country government of their ability to properly care for and use the object;
• a document transferring clear and unrestricted title to the receiving agency.

The assistant gallery director will note the status of the object as “deaccessioned,” and the object’s accession number will not be reassigned.