Festive gatherings, village celebrations, lively music, and dancing peasants: revelries were a popular subject in seventeenth-century Dutch art. This installation brought together two drawings from the Peck Collection and two prints that highlighted this theme.
In January 2017, the Ackland Art Museum received its largest gift to date when Sheldon Peck (UNC-Chapel Hill, BS ’63, DDS ’66) and his wife Leena donated their extraordinary collection of 134 mostly 17th-century Dutch and Flemish master drawings, as well as significant funds for the stewardship of the collection, new acquisitions, and an endowed curatorial position in European and American art before 1950. At least one example from the collection is always on view at the Museum, but because these works of art on paper are light-sensitive, we rotate a select number of drawings with other objects from our permanent collection in an ongoing display called Focus on the Peck Collection. Click below to see past installations.
Sheldon Peck, a native of Durham, North Carolina, is a double alumnus of the University, receiving his undergraduate degree from Carolina in 1963 and his doctorate from the UNC School of Dentistry in 1966. He and Leena enjoyed distinguished careers as prominent orthodontic specialists and educators in the Boston area.
The Peck Collection started as a collaboration between Sheldon and his late brother Harvey and continued as a joint interest shared with Leena. The result of over 40 years of exceptional connoisseurship, scientifically rigorous analysis, and dedicated pursuit, the Peck Collection stands as an internationally significant achievement. Sadly, Leena Peck passed away in January of 2019 and Sheldon Peck in April of 2021.
Image credit: Adriaen van de Venne, Dutch, 1589-1662, Wildly Dancing Peasant Couple, With Bagpiper and Onlookers, c. 1635-40, graphite on paper with framing lines in graphite, 6 5/16 × 8 7/16 in. (16 × 21.4 cm). Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Peck Collection, 2017.1.90.