Each year the collection committee, a group composed of faculty, UNH staff, and members of the museum’s board of advisors, meets to consider gifts and purchases of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, and sculpture. The result has been the addition of hundreds of contemporary and historic works of art in a variety of media and styles presenting different points of view and artistic concerns to create a dynamic ever-changing collection.
The Museum of Art currently maintains over 200 paintings in the University’s permanent collection. Highlights include works by Boston Expressionists Hyman Bloom and Karl Zerbe, New Hampshire legend John Hatch, as well as regional painters featuring Catherine Graffam and Melissa Miller.
The Museum of Art has over 400 photographs by renowned mid-20th-century American and European photographers. Artists include Lotte Jacobi, Gerda Peterich, Andy Warhol and Minor White. The Museum actively explores all areas of photography as an art form.
The Museum of Art’s collection of prints and drawings contains over 1,000 works of art featuring etchings by Goya and Rembrandt and engravings by Dürer. In 2013, the Museum of Art acquired 62 prints dedicated to 19th and 20th century works on paper through a generous donation by Dr. Lawrence ’49, ’50G and Marilyn Staples ’48 featuring work by leading American, European, and South American artists such as Jean Arp, Pol Bury, Eduardo Chillida, Christo, Max Ernst, Hans Hartung, David Hockney, Roberto Matta, Joan Miro, Henry Moore, Pierre Soulages, and Rufino Tamayo.
Japanese woodblock prints are easily recognized by their unique visual traits—sinuous lines, decorative patterns, rich color, and fine craftsmanship. Produced during Japan’s Edo period (1615—1868) and Meiji period (1868—1912), these prints are known as ukiyo-e, or ‘pictures of the floating world.’ Ukiyo-e prints are among the most revered and sought-after works of Japanese art, and the Museum of Art is extremely fortunate to have within its collection almost two hundred Japanese woodblock prints.
Even with limited storage space the Museum of Art maintains a comprehensive sculpture collection. Edwin Scheier and his wife, Mary, were the first to introduce sculpture, specifically ceramics, into the permanent collection in the 1960s with work by Karl Drerup, Antonio Prieto, and Peter Voulkos. Since then, the collection has grown and now represents work by David Aronson, Wendell Castle, Robert Laurent, and Gary Haven Smith.
The Museum’s African Art collection has been enriched by the intellectual curiosity and generosity of faculty and researchers. One scholar and intrepid traveler, Margaret Carson Hubbard, a highly regarded African specialist, collected and documented the use of utilitarian and ceremonial objects made in the 1930s by the Lozi people of Barotseland. Her gift to the Museum continues to serve as the backbone of the collection.