The Ackland Art Museum’s collection of over 19,000 works spans time and culture, showcasing the breadth and depth of human expression.

About the Collection


The collection of the Ackland Art Museum now includes approximately 19,000 works of art. The Museum makes acquisitions on the basis of three criteria:

  1. artistic excellence (compelling visual form and thematic content),
  2. relationship to the existing collection and the exhibition program, and
  3. potential for teaching and learning.

In the words of an early mission statement, the Museum acquires objects “chosen for their quality and their ability to convey the breadth of human achievement in the visual arts.” This encyclopedic ambition has given the Museum a substantial collection well-suited for our diverse communities. The collection forms the foundation for our exhibition program and our service to University students and faculty.

Highlights from the Collection

The Wave
Émile Bernard, 1892
Émile Bernard, French, 1868-1941, The Wave, 1892, oil on pulpwood board, mounted on canvas, 22 3/4 x 33 9/16 in. (57.8 x 85.2 cm). Ackland Fund, 71.29.1. Conservation treatment for this painting, completed in 1993, was made possible by the William Hayes Ackland Trust.
La Paresse (Indolence)
Félix Vallotton, 1896
Félix Vallotton, Swiss, 1865-1925, Indolence (La Paresse), 1896, woodcut, image: 7 x 12 13/16 in. (17.8 x 32.5 cm). Burton Emmett Collection, 58.1.152.
An Italian Velvet Panel with Ottoman Embroidery
Unidentified artist, 16th century
Unidentified artist, Italian, Turkish, 16th century, An Italian Velvet Panel with Ottoman Embroidery, 16th century, silk, 24 7/16 x 47 5/8 in. (62 x 121 cm). Special Acquisition Fund, 2019.27.
Portrait of Mary Emma Jones
Emma Sandys, 1874
Emma Sandys, British, 1843-1877, Portrait of Mary Emma Jones, 1874, oil on board, 20 x 15 1/4 in. (50.8 x 38.7 cm). Gift of Lauren M. Sanford in honor of Professor Mary D. Sheriff, 2018.41.
Cleopatra and the Peasant
Eugène Delacroix, 1838
Eugène Delacroix, French, 1798-1863, Cleopatra and the Peasant, 1838, oil on canvas, 38 1/2 x 50 in. (97.8 x 127 cm). Ackland Fund, 59.15.1. Conservation treatment for this painting, completed in 1990, was made possible by the generous support of the Friends of French Art.
Self-Portrait as Dirty Princess
Julie Heffernan, 2004
Julie Heffernan, American, born 1956, Self-Portrait as Dirty Princess, 2004, oil on canvas, 75 x 68 in. (190.5 x 172.7 cm). Ackland Fund, 2005.2.
Study for Idrissa Ndiaye
Kehinde Wiley, 2007
Kehinde Wiley, American, born 1977, Study for Idrissa Ndiaye, 2007, oil wash on paper, 30 x 23 in. (76.2 x 58.4 cm). Ackland Fund, 2008.7.
Hot Dog Bridge
Russell T. Gordon, 1974
Russell T. Gordon, American, 1936-2013, Hot Dog Bridge, 1974, lithograph, 12 3/16 x 15 3/8 in. (31 x 39 cm). Gift of Dr. Christopher A. Graf and Janet Graf, his wife, 74.28.12.