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Campus community mourns passing of Peter Lupori

Professor Emeritus Peter Lupori at a Catherine G. Murphy Gallery opening in 2014.
Professor Emeritus Peter Lupori at a Catherine G. Murphy Gallery opening in 2014.
Photo by Ashley de los Reyes '15.

An award-winning artist and beloved professor emeritus, Peter Lupori died Tuesday, Dec. 16. He was born December 12, 1918 in Pittsburgh, and earned a bachelor of fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University and following World War II military service, earned a master's in art education from the University of Minnesota.

Lupori joined the St. Catherine faculty in 1947 and was named full professor and artist-in-residence in 1961. In what would become a lasting St. Kate’s tradition, Lupori designed the St. Catherine Medal that has been presented to graduates at Commencement since 1955. He taught studio arts for 45 years and retired from St. Kate's in 1992, with the designation professor emeritus.

After retirement, he worked in the office of development performing donor outreach. He also donated designs for Christmas ornaments, lapel pins and charms to the Alumnae Relations Department for 20 years. He also accepted art commissions for more than 20 years and taught at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis until June, 2014.

Lupori and the former Catherine Pribyl met at St. Kate's, married in 1958 and raised two children, John and Maria. Maria Lupori (now Kaiser) is a 1990 graduate of St. Kate's. Their passion for education forged bonds with students, colleagues and the community that endured long past their official retirements. They were frequently seen at Catherine G. Murphy Gallery openings, development events, and other campus occasions.

Lupori's art — widely viewed and highly regarded — spanned across media, from sculpture to watercolor to ink drawings. His work was included in the first Minneapolis Institute of Arts Biennial in 1950, and in exhibitions at the Walker Art Center and Associated Arts of Pittsburgh, as well as solo gallery exhibitions across the country.

In the Twin Cities, his sculptures can be found at churches, hospitals and other public spaces, including two bronzes that reside on the St. Catherine University St. Paul campus: St. Francis of Assisi, a 1987 commission for the Patrick and Alice Schreiber Rogers English Garden located west of Whitby Hall; and Our Lady, located west of the Our Lady of Victory Chapel. Its 1998 installation marked the completion of a $1.5 million campaign to restore the Chapel exterior.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Ninth Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis,  and Fairview-Southdale Hospital in Edina were among the many organizations that commissioned artwork from Lupori. He also served as a judge for numerous juried exhibitions.

Peter and Catherine Lupori were named to the University's Centennial 100, which honored those individuals who shaped the first 100 years of St. Kate's. Each was also recognized with the St. Catherine Myser Alumnae Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2009, Peter and Catherine were named honorary St. Catherine alumna and alumnus in recognition of their outstanding service and continuing dedication to the University.

The Peter Lupori Scholarship, established in 1995 by former student Andrea Pennig Irvine '63, is awarded annually to an outstanding junior or senior majoring in Studio Arts.

Funeral services are planned for January 31 at 2 p.m. at St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis.

More about Catherine Lupori

Catherine Pribyl Lupori (1919-2014) was also a longtime faculty member and campus icon — see this story, "University mourns professor emerita." 

Dec. 18, 2014 by Julie Michener with information supplied by Fran Corcoran and Ruth Brombach '60

See also: Arts, Faculty, Liberal Arts