Focus on the Peck Collection: Studying with Rembrandt

May 5, 2023 - August 6, 2023

A drawing of a bald man in a cloak seen from the side


Rembrandt van Rijn understood drawing as the foundation of the visual arts. This Focus on the Peck Collection installation presents works by Rembrandt, Philips de Koninck, and Abraham Furnerius that illustrate and exemplify the drawing exercises Rembrandt assigned his pupils. Through the completion of these exercises, students perfected their ability to draw from life and learned to create naturalistic images and compositions in the style of their master.



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, followed by 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
Complete Illustrated List of Works in The Peck Collection at the Ackland

Image credit:

Philips de Koninck, Dutch, 1619-1688, A Man in a Cloak, Facing to the Left, c. 1650-60, pen and brown ink and brown wash on paper, 2 13/16 x 1 5/8 in. (7.1 x 4.1 cm). Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Peck Collection, 2017.1.48.