Greetings from the Ackland!
While we are still riding the wave of our January gift of The Peck Collection, the year 2017 continues to be a banner year for the Museum.
On October 6th we announced that we have been given three major collection gifts of art valued at $41.5 million from alumni John L. Townsend III and Marree Townsend, alumnus John G. Ellison Jr., and former Ackland director Charles W. Millard III. The art gifts include diverse works from a wide array of artists that will increase our already top-quality, encyclopedic collection and accelerate our mission to become the preeminent public university art museum in the country! You can read the press announcement here.
These gifts mean that, for the first time at the Ackland, there will be paintings by some of the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, among them Gerhard Richter, Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning, and Alex Katz. Building on our strength as a vital teaching resource, works of art by a number of important women artists—including Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, and Dorothea Lange—are also entering the collection.
It was a privilege to announce this historic moment during the launch of the Campaign for Carolina. We were honored that Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Vice Chancellor for University Development David Routh joined us to mark the occasion. If you missed it, you can watch a video about the announcement here.
With the excitement that has surrounded our announcement, we are already being asked when these art works will be on view. I’m happy to tell you that some of them will be part of our landmark fall 2018 exhibition celebrating the Ackland’s 60th anniversary.
You certainly don’t have to wait until then to experience great art at the Ackland! When you visit the Museum this fall, I invite you to:
- fully explore – including inside – the Ackland’s giant “stickwork” vessels constructed by sculptor Patrick Dougherty and a dedicated crew of volunteers
- shop at our newly (and conveniently!) relocated Museum Store, right off the lobby
- linger in and marvel at our newest special exhibition, Flash of Light, Fog of War, which showcases newly-acquired late 19th- and early 20th-century Japanese prints donated by UNC alumnus Eugene Roberts and Susan Roberts
Whatever you decide to see at the Ackland in the coming months, you’ll be able to get close to the art – the familiar, the unexpected, and the challenging – and connect with the beauty and complexity of the wider world. We look forward to seeing you soon.
p.s. To stay informed of everything that is new and next at the Ackland, subscribe to our eNews!
Photos, top to bottom, by Audrey Shore, Katie Voss, and Emily Bowles.