Reverend Richard Lewis Hillstrom [1915-2014]
ECA Record Control Number: 16095
Record Level: Listing
Record Type: Collector
Name: Reverend Richard Lewis Hillstrom
City: St. Paul
“Age 99 Born June 22, 1915 in Dassel, MN, to Alma (Anderberg) Hillstrom and Martin Hillstrom. Died Dec. 16, 2014. Rick graduated from Dassel High School in 1934, from Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) in 1938, and from Augustana Seminary (Rock Island, IL) in 1942. Rick served as a parish pastor in Gary, IN, from 1942-1947 before being called to become the first associate pastor at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, where he served with Sr. Pastor Ruben Youngdahl until 1952. During his tenure at Mt. Olivet, the parish completed the construction of its third church, dedicating it in 1949 on the site where it stands today. In 1952, Rev. Hillstrom accepted an invitation to become chaplain at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, a position he held until his retirement in 1981. He found himself well suited to hospital chaplaincy, noting “it didn’t involve preaching sermons – preaching made me very nervous.” In 1982, Rick accepted an invitation to work as a consultant for Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent Financial) to oversee the building of its corporate collection of religious art. From 1982 to 2005, he spent his retirement years doing what he enjoyed most – studying and collecting art – building the Thrivent collection into more than 800 works spanning eight centuries of Western art. Throughout his lifetime, Rev. Hillstrom also amassed an impressive personal collection of more than 400 works of art, most by American artists. In 1993, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts featured his collection in its exhibit American Masters: Selections from the Richard Lewis Hillstrom Collection. Hillstrom’s involvement with the MIA included serving on the Board of Trustees and the accessions committee from 1994-2006. He was also elected to the Board of the Minnesota Museum of American Art in 1978. Through the years, Rev. Hillstrom donated art works from his personal collection to many organizations, including Bethesda Hospital, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Historical Society, the American Swedish Institute, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. But it was his decision to bequeath the vast majority of his collection to his alma mater that led to Gustavus building the Hillstrom Museum of Art, which opened in 2000. The Museum was called “the best unexpected place to find great art” in the Star Tribune’s 2014 Best of Minnesota. Rev. Hillstrom was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Marlow, Edward, Leland and Rodney; his special cousin, Minnie; and his nephew, James Hillstrom. He is survived by nieces and nephews, Georgia (Ron) Youngquist, Phil (Mj) Hillstrom, Richard (Julie) Hillstrom, Mary Scandroli, Susan Kampa, and Linda (Frank) Koenig. Visitation on Sat., Dec.. 20 at 1 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Ave S, funeral to follow at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Hillstrom Museum of Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.”
Citation: Pioneer Press on Dec. 18, 2014
Decades of activity:
WORKS OWNED BY EMIL CARLSEN:
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Original compiled and researched document by the Emil Carlsen Archives, 266 West 21st Street, Suite 4E, New York, NY 10011.
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Record Birth Date:
November 14, 2016
November 14, 2016