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 Peter Lupori (1918 - 2014)


Peter Lupori was a respected artist and beloved professor at St. Catherine University whose passion for art influenced and delighted generations in the Twin Cities and beyond.  Born Dec. 12, 1918, in Pittsburgh, Lupori earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University and then a master’s in art education from the University of Minnesota following a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II.


He joined the faculty at St. Catherine in St. Paul in 1947 and was elevated to professor and artist-in-residence in 1961.  He taught studio art for 45 years before retiring as a professor emeritus in 1992.  “He was so positive and encouraging with his students,” said Ruth Brombach, alumnae liaison at St. Catherine. His favorite word was “create,” she said.


His own work was prolific — from sculpture to watercolor to ink drawings — and was featured at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Biennial in 1950, the Walker Art Center, and many other museums and galleries. He designed the St. Catherine Medal that has been presented to graduates at the university since 1955, and his sculptures are featured at churches, hospitals and public spaces throughout the Twin Cities.  The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Ninth Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Fairview-Southdale Hospital in Edina, among others, commissioned his work. Two bronzes are located on St. Catherine’s St. Paul campus — including St. Francis of Assisi near Whitby Hall, and Our Lady outside Our Lady of Victory Chapel.


Lupori’s work had a distinctive style that influenced many other artists. “As much as art served him professionally, it served him so much more as a lifelong vocation,” said Kathy Daniels, director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine.  Once retired, he joined the teaching staff at the Northern Clay Center and taught more than 600 students — from children at summer camps to experienced sculptors.

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