From the Director



Tweet, Snap, Instagram and Face my book…

Like so many of my generation (you know…the well beyond 50 set) I am struggling to catch up with all the latest technology and social media trends.  Oh sure…I am wicked with my laptop, can do wonders on my IPhone, IPad and Microsoft Surface…but ask me about... 

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PingX - The NEW Saginaw Art Museum App!






What if you could experience the Saginaw Art Museum virtually? With our new smartphone application, hosted by New Zealand-based technology and telecommunications company PingX, you can do just that! From entrance to exhibit to exit, PingX connects you and your museum via your mobile device with location relevant content and engagement.

Download and install the PingX app on your smartphone on your next visit to SAM! Once installed, your phone will know where you are located within the museum, and will automatically pull up information relevant to the gallery you're in and the history of what you are looking at. We’re very excited to introduce this technological wonder, and we hope you'll take advantage of it on your next visit! 


Book Club

May's Book:

The Masters of Nature Photography

by Rosamund Cox

Discuss the book and enjoy coffee with Assistant Curator Eric Birkle

Tuesday, May 10th at 10am

See more upcoming books here!


Eye on Arts

The Eye on Arts Program is a weekly (Sunday) review of arts and cultural programming presented by the Saginaw Art Museum, Temple Theatre, Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, Saginaw Choral Society, and Pit & Balcony Theatre. Funded by a private foundation, the program is a collaborative effort between the Saginaw News, Saginaw Valley State University, and Delta College, administered by the Saginaw Art Museum. The program's primary goal is to heighten awareness of arts and culture opportunities and experiences in the Greater Saginaw Area, encouraging attendance and support for the entities reviewed. Its secondary goal is to provide an avenue for the younger demographic to play a role in the development and sustainability of attendance and awareness of arts and cultural institutions in the community.

To see the most recently written reviews of the Saginaw Art Museum's exhibitions and programming, click here. 


Highlights from the Collection


Jacob Cornelisz van OostsanenThe Last Supper, ca. 1500

In the late fifteenth century, the waning of the Middle Ages was marked by the emergence of a new social class, the “bourgeoisie.” No longer land-bound peasants, these new merchants, builders, craftsmen, and professionals had wealth and property of their own. Along with the finer things in life, these people desired arts and culture, and a new vitality in the art world was the result.

One aspect of this renaissance in Northern Europe was the renewed interest and development of an older art form: the print. Woodcuts, engraving, and later etchings were media that allowed artists to produce an image many times over. Although prints restricted an artist’s ability to work with color, they permitted the exploration of line, texture, form, and space as expressive elements. Among the Saginaw Art Museum’s collection of prints from the early Renaissance era is this woodcut by Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen.

Jacob Cornelisz (1468 – 1533) was a Netherlandish artist known for his paintings and woodcuts, and his work often depicted Biblical scenes in “contemporary” settings yet retained traditional iconography. This “contemporary” style, along with the usage of exaggerated emotional expression in the figures, allowed viewers to more readily identify with the saints and stories represented. Indeed, his prints, designed in the traditional format for north Netherlandish small-scale book illustrations, were intimate and inviting by nature (note the modest 9.25” diameter of The Last Supper). One of the most important artists working in Amsterdam during the earliest years of the sixteenth century, Cornelisz’s work later became influenced by his German contemporary, Albrecht Dürer.

The scene in The Last Supper depicts, of course, Jesus Christ’s last supper, and is filled with details that lend a sense of immediacy to the event. The three knives on the table (a number evoking the Holy Trinity) all point in the direction of the feast’s main course: a lamb – symbolic of the coming sacrifice of Christ. Meanwhile Judas, here, does not merely kiss Christ as the scriptures indicate, but is in fact cradled in the savior’s arms, who blesses the disciple and absolves his future sins. The windows in the background function as sources of light as well as enlightenment, referencing God’s entry into the physical world through the ethereal medium of light. Indubitably, wrapped in the wonderfully accurate details of early sixteenth century dress and furnishings, these symbols and the event itself took on revitalized meaning for pious individuals of the day.