Robert Aldern

(1929-2011)

Robert J. Aldern taught in the Augustana art department from 1980 until his retirement in 1991.  He served as department chair from 1980-1988.  Aldern served the College as Professor Emeritus and Artist-in-Residence during his retirement.  His vision and artistic talent made the Hovland Center for Liturgical Arts a reality. Examples of his work on campus include the reredos in the Chapel of Reconciliation.  Dr. Lindsay Twa spoke about Aldern's many contributions to the College in February 2011 as a part of a series of lectures on "Heritage and Hope at Augustana."

Training

  • BFA, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, Hartford, CT, 1954-57
  • Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, 1947-1951
  • Summer study with Jean Charlot, San Diego, CA, 1950

Professional Experience

  • Owner/Operator of Aldern Art Studios, working as architectural and liturgical artist-consultant as well as producing own work, 1957-present
  • Artist-in-Residence, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, 1991-present
  • Professor of Art, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD 1980-1991; Chair of Art Department from 1980-1988
  • Professor of Art, South Dakota University, Vermillion, SD, 1968-1980; Chair of Art Department from 1968-1973
  • Artist-in-Residence, South Dakota State University, SD, 1966-1968
  • Artistic Consultant to Catholic Diocese of Eastern South Dakota, 1964-1966
  • Director of Sioux Falls Civic Fine Arts Center, Sioux Falls, SD, 1961-1964
  • Worked as draftsman for mechanical engineers and architects, 1954-1961
  • Worked as draftsman in United States Air Force 1951-1954

Partial List of Commissions

  • Triptych, Our Savior's Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD (2008)
  • Red oak panel, Daugherty Hospice House, Avera McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD (2007)
  • Narthex triptych (oak panels), Messiah New Hope Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD (2006)
  • Narthex triptych (oak panel), Augustana Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD (2005)
  • Narthex triptych (oak panels), St. Mark's Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD (2004)
  • Laser cut steel Christ figure, Good Samaritan Chapel, Sioux Falls, SD (2004)
  • Red oak cross, Gloria Dei Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD (2001)
  • Eight large laser cut steel panels, South Dakota rest stop, Chamberlain, SD (2000)
  • Three large paintings (stained wood), front wall, Great Room, Jerstad Center, Good Samaritan Offices, Sioux Falls, SD (2000)
  • Stained glass window, Christ the King Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD (1999)
  • Three large paintings (stained wood), back wall, Great Room, Jerstad Center, Good Samaritan Offices, Sioux Falls, SD (1999)
  • Four paintings (oil on masonite) Corporate Office, Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD (1997)
  • Reredos, Gloria Dei Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD (1997)
  • Triptych, St. Elizabeth Anne Seton Catholic Church, Groton, SD (1997)
  • Painting (oil on masonite), "Trinity," Trinity Lutheran Church, Arlington, SD (1996)
  • Design of furnishings and cross, Southern Hills United Methodist, Sioux Falls, SD (1996)
  • Stained glass window, Messiah New Hope Lutheran, Sioux Falls, SD (1996)
  • Choir screen (oil on wood), Eucharistic panel, and design of furnishings, Christ the King Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD (1995-1996)
  • Lobby stained red oak mural, McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD (1994)
  • Triptych (stained wood), Good Samaritan Corporate Office, Sioux Falls, SD (1993)
  • Design of furnishings and liturgical consultant, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD (1989-1990)
  • Sanctuary wall, gold leaf on wood, King of Glory Lutheran Church, Dallas, TX (1988)
  • Reredos, Chapel of Reconciliation, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD (1984)
  • Wood stain panel for narthex, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Watertown, SD (1979)
  • Chapel wall (oil on brick), Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Sioxu Falls, SD (1973)
  • Wood stain panel for narthex, Trininty Lutheran Church, Madison, SD (1970)
  • Reredos art forms (block prints), International Lutheran youth Conventions, Dallas, TX, and Seattle, WA (1967); Detroit, MI (1964)
  • Two oil paintings for narthex wall, Danebod Lutheran, Tyler, MN (1966)
  • Nave doors (stained wood) Episcopal Church, Watertown, SD (1966)
  • Stations of the Cross and sanctuary furnishings, Newman Center, Vermillion, SD (1966)
  • Sanctuary wall (brick), First Lutheran Church, St. Peter, MN (1965)
  • Wood stain, Pius XII Student Center, Brookings, SD (1965)
  • Stations of the Cross, Christ the King Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD (1965)
  • Chancel wall (oil on brick), Grace Lutheran Church, Sturgis, SD (1960)
  • Chancel wall (oil on brick), Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD (1959)
  • Mosaic tile pool and porcelain enamel doors, design of sound baffle, Church of St. Mary, Sioux Falls, SD (1959)

Honors

  • Emeritus Board Member Award, Visual Arts Center, Sioux Falls, SD (2004)
  • First place in Schoolhouse Drawing Competition by Spitznagel & Associates, Sioux Falls, SD (2003)
  • Mayor's Award for Achievement in the Arts, Sioux Falls, SD (2000)
  • Spitznagel Award for Artistic Achievement, Sioux Falls, SD (1997)
  • Governor's Award in the Arts for Distinction in Creative Achievement, Pierre, SD (1997)
  • South Dakota Arts Council Senior Artist Fellowship, $5,000 (1985)
  • Alumni Achievement Award, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD (1977)
  • Silver medal by the New York Architectural League for design on sound baffle at Church of St. Mary, Sioux Falls, SD (1959)

Personal

  • Born January 16, 1929, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Married Joey Grunwald, Sturgis, SD, 1951
  • Four children:  Brad (deceased), Marlys, Noreen, Jared
  • Death June 11, 2011, Sioux Falls, SD