Skip to main content

Museum Store Collects exhibition offers snapshot of ASU Art Museum collection

May 28, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. – The ASU Art Museum highlights the value of its wonderful team of store docents when it opens the summer exhibition, The Museum Store Collects, on May 10. The exhibition, featuring works purchased using funds from the museum store, runs through Sept.13, when a public reception will mark its close.

The Museum Store Collects will present work purchased throughout the museum’s history, using what senior curator Heather Lineberry describes as the museum’s only consistent source of acquisition funds. The work purchased runs the gamut of the museum’s collecting emphases and parallels its history as those emphases have shifted.

Lineberry said the exhibition offers a good overview of the museum’s collection, indicating that store funds have been well used to build broad strength in the collection.

“This is a way for our patrons to walk into the museum and get a sense of the breadth of our collections,” Lineberry said. “Proceeds from The Museum Store have enabled us to build our collection, and the exhibition will be a snapshot of the history and mission of the ASU Art Museum’s collection, with strong emphasis on each of our collecting areas.”

Important pieces in each of the museum’s major areas of collecting – contemporary art, ceramics, Latin American art, prints (both historic and contemporary) and regional art – have been purchased using store funds.

The exhibition will feature prints by artists from 18th-century artist Francisco Goya to recent Valley resident Kim Cridler. Likewise, the ceramic pieces in the collection vary from crocks to important works by contemporary ceramists such as the Herberger College’s Kurt Weiser. Artists in other fields who will be represented in the exhibition include Cuba’s Los Carpinteros and Abel Barroso, sculptor John Ahearn, painter Hung Liu and the Valley’s own Jon Haddock, whose computer game-style images have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

The ASU Art Museum Store is and always has been run completely by volunteers – an increasingly rare situation today. ASU Art Museum director Marilyn Zeitlin said that the docents have supported the museum since its inception, creating continuity with the museum's past and acting as partners in building its future.

“The Museum Store is one of its most valuable projects in support of the museum, enabling us to purchase works of art that reflect the museum’s overall mission of illuminating the relationship of art to society,” Zeitlin said. “The docents work entirely as volunteers, giving hours, advice, wisdom and good cheer to us every single day. It is a love-love relationship and we are so grateful to know these wonderful people.”

Started by Tempe resident Astrid Thomas and now run by Scottsdale resident LaReal Eyring, the store features a wide range of high quality art, craft, toys and cards from around the world. Eyring, who has volunteered in the store for 30 years and run it since 1989, has always ensured that it carries items in a range of prices, so children as well as adults can find and purchase a treasure.

Eyring credited a commitment to the university and the pleasure of working with other volunteers and the staff of the museum as the reason she and other docents have stayed so long. The quality of her staff, she says, is the reason ASU Art Museum’s store is the only one she knows of that is still completely volunteer-run.

“We have several docents in the museum who have been here 25 or 30 years. They are extraordinarily loyal,” Eyring said. “They are knowledgeable – they have attended classes and traveled the world. They give their services – they always turn up, they fill in for each other. You can’t hire people like that.”

The ASU Art Museum is a division of The Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. It is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe. For more information, please call (480) 965-2787 or visit the museum online at

When You Go:
Location:ASU Art Museum, Nelson Fine Arts Center, corner Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe.
Date & Time:The Museum Store Collects will run May 10 – Sept. 13.
A closing reception is scheduled for 7-9 p.m., Sept. 13, in conjunction with the museum’s fall season opening.
Parking:Free parking is available in ASU Art Museum-marked spaces at the south end of Tempe Center, located at the NE corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street. Visitors using museum spaces must sign in at the front desk in the lobby of the Nelson Fine Arts Center. ASU parking is also free on weekends and after 7 p.m. on weeknights.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle