Gifts of Art

Enhancing the Ackland’s Celebrated Collection

Throughout our history, generous donors have helped the Ackland Art Museum build its permanent collection by offering works of art as gifts and bequests. The Ackland also relies on friends of the Museum for loans of works of art from personal collections to enhance special exhibitions and installations.

All works accepted by the Museum make significant contributions to our educational mission and are preserved for future generations to come. Whether or not the Museum is able to accept a proposed gift, promised gift, or loan, we are always grateful to someone who thinks of the Ackland as a potential recipient.

There are various benefits of making a gift of art to the Ackland, which include:

  • Ackland Membership for new donors
  • credit for the value of the gift in your cumulative giving record at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • satisfaction in knowing that your treasured works of art will be cared for to the highest standards and displayed for the scholarship and enjoyment of generations to come at one of the world’s great university art museums
  • a charitable deduction for income tax purposes
  • removal of items from your estate, thereby avoiding potential estate tax on the value of those objects

If you are interested in learning more about giving a gift of art to the Ackland, or about the many ways you can help the Ackland Art Museum bring a world of art to our communities, please contact please contact Mary Gard, Director of External Affairs, at or 919-843-3592.

Rembrandt drawing of a man warming his hands by a fire

Recent Gifts of Art

Two smiling people holding an African mask carved from dark wood

Creating a Destination for African Art

Reggie and Celeste Hodges have a vision that the Triangle will become a destination for African art, and that the Ackland Museum of Art will be a part of that. “And we would like to be a part of that,” Reggie stressed.

The Hodges’ passion for collecting African art emerged during their service in the Peace Corps. The couple spent more than 18 years living and working in Africa. Since their retirement, bit by bit, the Hodges have donated pieces of their collection to local museums in the Triangle, slowly but surely helping to build the area’s potential as a destination for African art.

The Hodges donated two Bundu masks to the Ackland, where Reggie is a member of the National Advisory Board. “When we retired, one of the things we set as a priority was to focus on art, and that meant being a part of the art community and helping all of the museums in the area,” Reggie said. “Each museum has a different character, and the character of the Ackland is unique. They have a real dedication and commitment to the arts and are doing a lot with limited resources.” The Hodges were also drawn to the Ackland because of how the Museum uses its exhibitions for education and because of its focus on increasing minority attendance.

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The Transcendent Joy Of Philanthropy

As part of the launch of “For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina,” Carolina alumni John and Marree Townsend made a $50 million gift to the University, including $25 million in works of art to the Ackland Art Museum.

Their gift features a collection of 150 pieces of art by American and European modern masters, including paintings and prints by Joan Mitchell and prints of Jasper Johns’ most iconic images. Other highlights include works by Howard Hodgkin, Alex Katz, Marsden Hartley, Ad Reinhardt, Hans Hofmann, Gerhard Richter, Richard Diebenkorn, Jennifer Bartlett, Lee Krasner, Sean Scully, Anton Henning, Rachel Howard, Glenn Brown, Mark Alexander and Adrien Ghenie.

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A man walks in front of a large red painting
Head shot of Sheldon Peck

Art Changes Everything

When Carolina alumnus Sheldon Peck and his wife, Leena, gave a rare collection of 17th-century European masterworks — including seven Rembrandts — to the Ackland Art Museum, it became the nation’s first public university art museum to own a collection of Rembrandt drawings and one of only two universities to do so.

The Pecks’ gift also included the Peck Collection Endowment Fund and the Sheldon Peck Curatorship Fund, dedicated to the care and enhancement of the collection, as well as funds to acquire other European and American masterworks created before 1950.

The endowment also helped create the Ackland’s first endowed position, the Sheldon Peck Curator of European and American Art and Curator of the Peck Collection.

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Art image credits:

Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, 1606-1669, A seated old man warming his hands by a fire (detail), 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.

Photo of Reggie and Celeste Hodges by Hassan Hodges, HH Photo Graphics.

Photo of John Townsend by Johnny Andrews, UNC-Chapel Hill, in front of Howard Hodgkin, British, 1932-2017, As Time Goes By (red), 2009, sugar-lift aquatint with carborundum relief and extensive hand-painting, number 5 from an edition of 7, 96 × 244 in. (243.8 × 619.8 cm). Gift of John and Marree Townsend, 2017.14.