In its forty plus years of existence, the Kennesaw State University Permanent Collection has grown to include over six thousand paintings, sculptures, and works on paper dating from the late 15th-century to the present. This robust collection primarily focuses on American art ranging from the 18th - 20th centuries, while also including diverse works ranging from early 20th-century African sculptures to contemporary work by emerging artists of today. The collection is housed in the Leo Delle Lassiter Jolley Collection Research Center, and will continue to expand thanks to the generosity of community donors and directed purchases.
1972: The KSU Permanent Collection began with a gift from Fred D. Bentley, Sr. and J. Alan Sellars of prints by artists Thomas Hart Benton, Lyonel Feininger, George Grosz, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and Jerome Myers. Since this first contribution, Mr. Bentley has made annual donations of 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century American art to Kennesaw State University, including works by John Kensett, Gilbert Stuart, and Rembrandt Peale.
1997: Richard and Judy Marks donated a major artwork by American sculptor Viola Frey entitled Leaning Man III. In subsequent years, the Marks have provided KSU with additional significant 20th-century paintings and sculptures.
1999: Bernard A. Zuckerman donated nearly 125 sculptures, photographs, and paintings by his late wife and noted artist, Ruth Zuckerman. This body of work mostly consists of stone and bronze figural pieces exploring universal themes of love and family. Highlights from the collection are featured in the Ruth V. Zuckerman Pavilion of the Zuckerman Museum of Art as a part of the rotating exhibitions featured throughout the museum.
2006: KSU Professor Emiratis, Dr. Aposotolos Ziros with his wife Kiki, gifted a discrete collection of Mangbetu and Azande sculptures collected from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the early 20th century. His grandfather, Dimitri Ziros, compiled this collection from hunting trips to central Africa. This collection will be highlighted in fall 2016, in Transitions, an exhibition that will be supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
2007: Don Russell Clayton gave his extensive collection of work by the Italian-born, Georgia artist Athos Menaboni. With support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Kennesaw State University serves as an educational center for the artist. Now one of the largest assemblages of Menaboni's work in the country, the collection has continued to grow through gifts by Mr. Clayton and other collectors.
2012: With the assistance of KSU Professor Valerie Dibble, the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI), one of the largest and most significant printmaking organizations in America, selected the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art to house its permanent collection. The Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) was co-founded in 1972 by Boyd Saunders, Bernie Solomon, and John O’Neil with the intent on joining artists together to advocate, celebrate and collect contemporary printmaking in America. Through the help of Dr. Thomas Dewey and the University of Mississippi Museum of Art, the SGCI collection grew and flourished. This gift will continue to expand as additions are made to the KSU Collection from the SGCI annual conference.
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