Defining Art

Defining Art

Lunder Collection of American art raises Colby to pinnacle of college art museums

By Bob Keyes


 

With the announced gift of an exquisite private collection of American art, Colby’s claim to having one of the top college museums in the country is airtight.

“The Lunder Collection puts it on a whole new level of distinction,” said leading American art scholar John Wilmerding, of Princeton University. “It’s a gift that builds on the museum’s strengths … and puts Colby on the map in a competitive way.”

In May, Colby President William D. Adams announced the promised gift of more than 500 objects, including 464 works by American masters, from Peter ’56, D.F.A. ’98, and Paula Crane Lunder, D.F.A. ’98, art collectors, Maine residents, and longtime supporters of Colby and its museum. The gift, valued at more than $100 million, is the largest in the history of the College. The College also announced plans for an expansion of the museum, targeted for opening in 2013, Colby’s bicentennial year. That plan is part of the $370-million Reaching the World capital campaign, the largest fund-raising campaign
in Maine history.

The Lunder gift enhances Colby’s reputation as a place for art scholarship and increases the College’s national profile, Adams said. “This sends us to a whole new level in respect to the quality of the education program in the visual arts and the reputation of the College in the visual arts,” he said.

 
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