Doris Ulmann Galleries at Berea College
Backstory and Context
The Berea College Art Collection was established in 1935 as a teaching collection with the purpose of providing Berea College students with the best examples of art and artifacts from around the world. Currently, the art collection is made up of more than 14,000 works of art and artifacts of cultural significance and is known for its high quality.
The Berea College Art Collection is made accessible to the campus, surrounding communities and visiting scholars with the goal of providing rich opportunities to experience the visual arts. This goal is accomplished by caring for the artwork entrusted to them by generations of donors, making the artwork available for research and study through class visits and individual appointments, and installing two permanent collection galleries that highlight the richness and diversity of the collection.
The core of the collection includes paintings, prints and photographs by European and American masters; contemporary ceramics; and Asian arts. Among the most significant works in the collection are Renaissance paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, Old Master prints including works by Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer, Japanese woodblock prints, over 3000 Doris Ulmann photographs and paintings by Gilbert Stuart, Arthur Wesley Dow, Thomas Moran, and Henry Ossawa Tanner. The early works on paper were supplemented by a recent gift of contemporary American prints by Jasper Johns, Jacob Lawrence, and Sam Gilliam among others.
A large portion of the exhibitions in the galleries showcase the art of contemporary artists working in a wide range of media. In addition to highlighting work on Kentucky-based artists, artists from across the country as well as international artists are displayed. Exhibitions curated from their permanent collection as well as occasional exhibits from outside collections.
It is the goal of the Art & Art History Department to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of the art of the past. It also aims to provide a working knowledge of the processes and possibilities of art in the present.
Exhibitions are mounted in the Galleries during the academic year.