Cancer-themed exhibitions at the Hillstrom Museum of ArtNovember 2, 2020

Time: November 2, 2020

The Hillstrom Museum of Art presents two exhibitions related to cancer: Cancer Never Had Me: Views by Artists and the concurrent exhibition Artists Who Had Cancer: Works from the Hillstrom and Shogren-Meyer Collections.  Both will be on view from September 14 through November 8, 2020, and are presented in conjunction with the 2020 Nobel Conference of Gustavus Adolphus College, “Cancer in the Age of Biotechnology.”

For Cancer Never Had Me, any artist 18 years or older affected by cancer was welcome to submit one or two artworks dating from 2000 or later that address cancer in some meaningful way.  Submissions were considered by exhibition juror Gregory Jecmen, retired Associate Curator of Old Master Prints and Drawings and Print Room Supervisor at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.  In addition to selecting the 45 artworks included in the exhibition, Jecmen also awarded first, second, third, and fourth prizes, and cited four works for honorable mention.

Artists Who Had Cancer features works from the permanent collection of the Hillstrom Museum of Art and works lent by collectors Daniel Shogren and Susan Meyer.  The 32 paintings, drawings, photographs, and prints are the work of 16 different American artists who all succumbed to cancer, and the majority of the works date from the first half of the 20th century.  For selected artists, when the type of cancer is known, some exploration of the life and careers of the artists, especially how these were affected by cancer, is presented.  In addition, Laura Burrack, co-chairperson of the 2020 Nobel Conference, has compared the treatments for the particular types of cancer during the artists’ lifetimes to treatments available today.

Both Cancer Never Had Me: Views by Artists and Artists Who Had Cancer: Works from the Hillstrom and Shogren-Meyer Collections will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue that will be available in digital form on the Museum webpage at as well as in a printed version at the Museum.

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitation to the Museum will be limited at times.  At the beginning of the exhibitions, visitation to the Museum is open to on-campus persons or by invitation to off-campus visitors.  It is expected that initially during the exhibitions, Museum hours will be Monday through Friday, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  There will be no opening reception.

Please consult the Museum webpage ( for updated information about hours, and about visits from off campus, which initially will require requesting an invitation via email (to to arrange an appointment to visit as a guest of the College.  All visitors must wear masks and follow College COVID-19 requirements including taking a health self-assessment prior to arrival, observing appropriate social distancing, and following sanitizing guidelines.

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