Focus on the Peck Collection: Marriage in the Early Modern Imagination
April 23, 2021 - July 18, 2021
Marriage celebrations were a common motif in early modern European art. This Focus on the Peck Collection installation features two engravings from the sixteenth century and one preparatory drawing for an engraving from the eighteenth century depicting nuptial rituals. These three images demonstrate the wide application of weddings as a theme to comment on social issues as diverse as class, religion, and race.
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.
Focus on the Peck Collection installations
About Sheldon and Leena Peck
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.
Podcast – “Well Said: The Peck Collection”
Video – A Transformational Gift of Art
Video – “The Art and Science of Collecting the Old Masters,” A Talk by Dr. Sheldon Peck, UNC-Chapel Hill, 21 May 2017
UNC Press Release – Gift of The Peck Collection
Legacy Website – Images and Scholarly Information on a Portion of The Peck Collection
Complete Illustrated List of Works in The Peck Collection at the Ackland
Image credit: Bernard Picart, French, 1673-1733, An Inca Wedding, 1723, Pen and gray ink, gray wash on paper, sheet: 6 1/16 × 8 3/8 in. (15.4 × 21.3 cm). The Peck Collection, 2017.1.116.