A Legacy of Art
Selected Works from the Collection of the Davis Art Center.
In the early 1960s, members of the Davis Art Center board of directors and its Collection Committee embarked on an initiative to establish an art collection that celebrated the emerging artists of Northern California. This was an incredibly forward-thinking group who recognized the wealth of talented artists and the innovative artistic trends that were developing in our region. Over the next two decades, this dedicated group of volunteers amassed a collection of over 100 pieces by local artists, including Richard Nelson, who at the time was head of the UC Davis Art Department, his wife Maureen (Fay) Nelson, and Ralph Johnson, an art professor at the university. Other artists represented in the collection, such as Robert Arneson, William Theo Brown, David Gilhooly and Paul Wonner, went on to attain significant national and international recognition, but many more were Davis Art Center teachers, students and supporters, including Mary Foley Benson, Pat Conway, Dwight Eberly, James Estey, Winifred Madison, Virginia Stearns and many more. A Legacy of Art documents the rich artistic heritage that all of these artists, whether amateur or professional, have contributed to our community’s history.
Over the past year and half, pieces from the Collection have been displayed and sold at San Francisco’s Paul Thiebaud Gallery and locally at Pence Gallery. The current exhibit gives Davisites and local art collectors the opportunity to take home a piece of our history. A Legacy of Art includes paintings, drawings, prints, textiles, ceramics and sculpture; photography from the Collection will be shown at a later date. All works are for sale and 100% of the proceeds benefit Davis Art Center and its ongoing community arts programs. Funds from the sale of the entire Collection will help support the Art Center’s future operating costs to ensure growth and stability.