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A Look Back: Celebrating Guilford College Art Gallery’s 20th Anniversary

January 10 – September  30, 2011

Guilford College has been acquiring important works of art since 1973, even before an art gallery had been established.  In response to the significant contributions of art in 1986, from Rachel and Allen Weller, and from Ruth and Ira Julian, the Board of Trustees authorized the expansion of Hege Library to include more than 5,000 square feet of professionally-designed galleries and storerooms to display and house the permanent collection. In 1990 the Board established Guilford College Art Gallery and charged it with the care and preservation of the collection. 

The Art Gallery opened in October 1990, with a gala celebration and inaugural exhibition featuring selections from the permanent collection, which then numbered approximately 500 works of art.

Gifts of art had been given to the College sporadically over the years prior to the founding of the Art Gallery; however the art collection was significantly expanded in 1986 with contributions by Rachel and Allen Weller, and by Ruth and Ira Julian, dedicated art collectors. In 2001, Dr. A. Kelly Maness Jr. expanded the holdings with the contribution of a significant collection of African sculpture.  Spanning 4000 years and five continents, the permanent collection now includes more than 1600 original works by more than 500 artists.

Although 20th century American art is predominant in the collection, internationally renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Picasso and Dalí are represented, along with an Italian Renaissance panel painting, an impressive selection of contemporary Polish etchings and engravings, and a small collection of Josef and Anni Albers art and archival material.