Western Carolina University


Image: Emile Gallé, cameo-cut design glass vessel, ca. 1930. Image: Frank Gehry, Power Play club chair, 1989, bent wood/birch.
Emile Gallé, cameo-cut design glass vessel, ca. 1930.

Frank Gehry, "Power Play" club chair, 1989, bent wood/birch.


An exhibit featuring wide-ranging fine art and design, from the cameo glass vessels of Emile Galle to the futuristic “Elda” chair designed by Joe Colombo in the 1960s, kicks off the fall season at Western Carolina University's Fine Art Museum at the Fine and Performing Arts Center.

“The Kimmel Collection – Art that Works: A Celebration of Design,” which runs from Sept. 23-Oct. 21, will offer classic examples of art nouveau, art deco, international style arts and crafts, and modernist furniture, glass, ceramics, paintings, photographs and sculpture. The art is from the private collection of Joe and Cynthia Kimmel of Asheville.

Included in the exhibit will be American, European and Scandinavian fine art and design spanning from 1885 to 1985 created by artists and designers such as Milton Avery, Harry Bertoia, Charles and Ray Eames, Erté, Sam Francis, Frank Gehry, Rene Lalique, Le Corbusier, Eero Saarinen, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Camille Pissarro, Pablo Picasso, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselman.

“For quite some time, Joe and Cynthia Kimmel have been earnestly collecting classic examples of decorative art and design and filling their lives, home and corporate workplace with one-of-a-kind originals as well as reproductions of acclaimed national and international designers' distinctive creations,” said Martin DeWitt, director of the Fine Art Museum. “Theirs has been a thoughtful and fun approach to collecting with a broad focus from the characteristic charm of low-brow kitsch to an exceptionally eclectic scope of purely aesthetic, opulent objects.”

Ticket holders for a Fine and Performing Arts Center performance by legendary musician Roy Clark may enjoy an exclusive Kimmel Collection exhibit preview beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. Clark is scheduled to take the stage at 7:30 p.m. For concert tickets, which are $45 per person, call the box office at (828) 227-2479 or visit www.wcu.edu/fapac.

The exhibit opens to the general public Sunday, Sept. 24, with a free reception and 2 p.m. gallery talk titled “The Kimmel Collection: Tracing Modernism” presented by DeWitt.

Joe Kimmel helped start the executive search company now known as Kimmel & Associates, and his wife, Cynthia, is an artist. The Kimmels support numerous community agencies in Western North Carolina and pledged nearly $7 million last year to Western Carolina University's School of Construction Management, Engineering and Technology. The gift, with matching money, will have a $10.4 million impact supporting endowed professorships, program needs and scholarships.

Fine Art Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. Donations are suggested. For more information about the Kimmel Collection or the Fine Art Museum, call (828) 227-3591.

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Last modified: Friday, September 1, 2006
Copyright 2006 by Western Carolina University