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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

A phenomenal year is now even better at the Ackland


Joan Mitchell, Untitled, 1967, oil on canvas, 763⁄4-by-443⁄4 inches. Estate of Joan Mitchell, from the Ellison collection.

For the Ackland Art Museum, 2017 has already been a phenomenal year.

In January, Carolina graduate Sheldon Peck and his wife, Leena, made a $25 million commitment to the Ackland Art Museum. That gift included an $8 million endowment and a $17 million art gift that included seven works by Rembrandt.

The year got even better last week as Carolina kicked off its multiyear fundraising campaign, “For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina.” As part of the launch, officials announced three more gifts for the Ackland valued at $41.5 million that include diverse art works from a wide variety of artists.



“It’s impossible to express how excited we all feel about something that happens so infrequently actually happening several times in one year,” said Ackland director Katie Ziglar. The gifts announced last week include:

Édouard Manet, Guerre Civile, 1871, lithograph, from the Millard collection

With these commitments, the Ackland has secured gifts totaling $66.5 million in this year alone. The museum has set a $250 million campaign goal.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt said the gifts “continue an incredible year of support for Carolina’s enduring commitment to the visual arts.”

“The generosity of John Ellison, Charlie Millard and John and Marree Townsend and our Arts Everywhere initiative is making Carolina a prominent destination for the visual arts,” Folt said.

Ziglar said the gifts are a tribute to the affection that alumni have for Carolina.

“These wonderful gifts come from wonderful donors demonstrating a wellspring of generosity, intelligence and understanding of the visual arts having a key role in higher education,” Ziglar said.

“I want you to know that 10,500 students from 300 classes in 30 different disciplines are taught at the Ackland every year to look close and think far.”

Ziglar said those words – to look close and think far – capture the meaning of the museum’s work and are in keeping with the chancellor’s Blueprint for Next, which will guide Carolina’s growth and future direction.

“We promote the fact that art is meant for all kind to enjoy and appreciate,” Ziglar said. “Every great university has a great art museum. It is our goal to become the pre-eminent global public research art museum in the United States. With your help, we can. With these marvelous gifts, we are well on our way.”