Focus on the Peck Collection: Regarding Women in the Age of Rembrandt
August 31, 2018 - October 7, 2018
This installation highlights the variety of approaches to women as subject matter in the medium of drawing by Rembrandt and his contemporaries. Whether a rapid sketch, detailed study, or finished portrait, Dutch artists in the seventeenth century sought new ways to bring forth the character of women in the era.
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: Cornelis Visscher, Dutch, c. 1629–1658, Portrait of a Woman, Facing Right, c. 1658; black chalk on vellum, 5 13/16 × 4 7/8 in. (14.8 × 12.4 cm). Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Peck Collection, 2017.1.94.