Focus on the Peck Collection: Rembrandt and His Circle

April 26, 2019 - July 21, 2019

Rembrandt drawing of a man warming his hands by a fire

2019 marks the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt van Rijn’s death (1606-1669), an event celebrated through exhibitions and programs worldwide. The Ackland’s contribution to these festivities is a Focus on the Peck Collection installation featuring three drawings—one created by Rembrandt, one made by a student with Rembrandt’s corrections, and one produced by an unknown follower—that demonstrate both Rembrandt’s skill as a draftsman and teacher and distinguish his drawing style from that of his circle.



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.


Resource Links
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:

Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, 1606-1669, A seated old man warming his hands by a fire, c. 1650, pen and brown ink, with dry brushwork and white gouache for corrections on paper, 5 15/16 × 6 7/8 in. (15.1 × 17.5 cm). The Peck Collection, 2017.1.66.