WESTERN FINE ART MUSEUM RECEIVES                                                                                                  

Image: Martin Dewitt, and Leigh Anne and Rob Young
Martin DeWitt (left), founding director of Western's Fine Art Museum, examines some of the prints donated by Leigh Anne and Rob Young.
Image: La Busca Del Tiempo

“La Busca Del Tiempo” by Colombian artist Guillermo Silva is among the works donated by the Youngs to the collection of Western's Fine Art Museum.


CULLOWHEE – Rob and Leigh Anne Young of Webster, recently donated a major print portfolio of 25 works on paper to the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University's new Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The Youngs said they decided to donate the collection, originally owned by Rob's uncle, because they wanted to make a meaningful contribution to the university's new art museum.

“While this print collection has been very important to us and our family, we are happy to be able to share it with the university community and a regional audience,” said Rob Young, an associate professor of geology in Western's department of geosciences and natural resources management. “We believe that it is important for all faculty to vest themselves in their chosen academic home.”

The print portfolio gift, published by the Associated American Artists of New York, includes early works from the 1930s through 1960s by noted American artists Thomas Hart Benton, Sidney Chafetz, David Driesbach, Richard Florsheim, Erwin Hoffman, Fletcher Martin and Doris Lee. The gift also features works by important American artists Johnnie Freidlander and Benton Spruance, as well as noted contemporary artist Jonathan Lasker and prominent Cuban artist Emilio Sanchez.

“The Youngs' generous gift is a major addition to the collection,” said Martin DeWitt, founding director of the Fine Art Museum. “These works offer a first-rate foundation of high-quality examples of printmaking in the mediums of etching, woodcuts, lithography and serigraphs.

The donation is especially important to the museum's teaching mission, DeWitt said. “Our goal is to develop a vital program to include what we expect to be a significant collection of modern and contemporary art to help strengthen the strongest teaching collections in the Southeast. The Youngs' gift offers a tremendous boost toward that aim,” he said.

Matt Liddle, associate professor and chair of the department of art, called the donation “exceptionally good news.”

“Students in my courses learn many of these traditional printmaking processes, but do not have access to original prints for study,” Liddle said. “In addition to being exhibited, these prints will be used by faculty and students for research in studio art and art history.”

Selections from the Youngs' gift will be part of the Fine Art Museum grand opening inaugural exhibition “Worldviews: Selections from the Permanent Collection and New Acquisitions” beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. The exhibit premier and artist's reception, open to the public free of charge, will feature more than 75 new acquisitions and recent major gifts to Western's growing university art collection, plus exhibits continuing through Dec. 16 of a variety of regional, national and international art.

For more information, call DeWitt at (828) 227-3591, or visit the Fine Art Museum Web site link at www.wcu.edu/fapac .

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Last modified: Monday, October 10, 2005
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