Mar 11, 2011A major contributor to the art community with Concordia ties died on March 3. James O’Rourke ’56 founded the Rourke Art Museum, Moorhead, with his brother Orland. His legacy went beyond his gallery.
“Jim was a titan, a visionary and a founding pillar upon which the F-M arts community was built,” says Peter Schultz, chair of the art department.
O’Rourke studied under Cy Running, the founder of Concordia’s art department. When The Rourke opened, it remained closely tied to Concordia.
“The Rourke Art Museum was actually launched from Concordia, and, for many years, Rourke programming was advertised as if it was a Concordia College event,” says Schultz.
Many Concordia students have worked and volunteered at Rourke’s gallery. This partnership was strengthened by the addition of a museum studies program in the fall of 2009.
The memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 12 in the Centrum, Knutson Campus Center at Concordia.