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Ramsey Gallery

The Ramsey Gallery, the newer of the four gallery spaces on campus, was named after M. Fern (Ramsey) Birnstihl, who was born in Brooks, MN, but moved to Bemidji with her family when she was six months old.   She graduated from Bemidji High School in 1928 as the class Valedictorian.  Fern attended Bemidji State Teachers College from 1928-30, where she received her two-year teaching certificate. She received a $27.00 Alumni Scholarship to attend Bemidji State, which covered the $9/quarter costs to attend.  She returned to Bemidji State, where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1950.  She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma since 1946.  Fern taught elementary grades 3-6 in Fosston, Northern School in Bemidji when it was affiliated with BSU, at Red Lake Falls, Brainerd and finally at Aurora.

More than an alumna of Bemidji State University (BSU), Fern was a true friend.  She was most passionate about the arts and made donations to support those areas, establishing an endowment in her name to provide scholarships to BSU students majoring in music or visual arts.  She was also a charter member of the BSU Legacy Society and, through her generosity, there are two rooms named after Fern, one in the Music Department and another in the Visual Arts Department.  Another large donation allowed BSU to establish the Ramsey Gallery in Bangsberg Hall.

Steve Sundahl, Art Professor, Visual Arts Department, was commissioned to design and build the gallery display cases as well as to create signage for the outside of the building.  Pictured below are Steve and Fern looking at the proposed design for the Ramsey.

Contact Information


  • Monday-Sunday- 8:00am-10:00pm

Physical Location

  • Southern most campus building
    Enter lower doors- Birchmont Drive

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