Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College

The Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College is Free and Open to the Public. Please visit our website for a schedule of events and exhibitions.

The tradition of collecting art at Randolph College dates to 1907, when the senior class commissioned William Merritt Chase to paint a portrait of the College’s first president. Louise Jordan Smith, the school’s first professor of art, played a crucial role in developing the art collection. A fervent believer that firsthand study of the art of one’s time was central to a liberal arts education, she established an annual exhibition of contemporary art on campus in 1911. It was from this series of exhibitions that the idea of a permanent art collection developed. The first acquisition was made in 1914 from the Fourth Annual Exhibition.

The mission of the Maier Museum of Art specifies that its collecting concentrate on American art. This is understood to encompass works of art, in a variety of media, created by artists active in the United States. The Museum seeks for its collection objects of artistic significance that are representative of national trends, that illuminate the history of the visual arts in the United States, and that exemplify the best efforts of American artists. The Museum makes every effort to acquire the work of artists who represent the breadth and variety of America’s cultural heritage. In keeping with the College’s tradition of supporting contemporary artists, this is a chief focus of collecting efforts.

The Museum’s strengths lie in American Impressionism and in early 20th-century Realism. The collection also holds an extensive collection of works by the visionary modernist Arthur B. Davies, as well as a strong representation of work by painter, printmaker, and photographer Ben Shahn. Contemporary photography and printmaking are areas of special interest.

Place Categories: Art MuseumPlace Tags: paintings, Photography, printmaking and sculptures

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