School of Art Collection
Room 144, Center for the Visual Arts
The Kent State School of Art Collection started when author James A. Michener donated the proceeds from his book about the May 4, 1970 shootings—Kent State: What Happened and Why—to the Kent State University School of Art in 1971.
He had spent several months in Kent researching material for the book, and his donation was intended to help the school acquire works for its permanent collection to be housed in the new School of Art Building, which was completed in 1972.
“In the years since, we have continued to collect work from all over the world,” says Anderson Turner, MFA ’02, director of the School of Art Collection and Galleries at Kent State University since 2005. “The School of Art Collection’s curatorial mission is to collect work of historical significance to the school, as well as work by artists of color and women.”
Comprised of more than 4,500 historical and contemporary art objects, the collection is contained in an open storage space located along a hallway at the Center for the Visual Arts, the new home for the School of Art. The space is accessible to classes, so students can get up close to the artwork. “I call it a ‘quasi museum,’ says Mr. Turner, “because I let students touch things.”
A sampling of the art objects in the collection, pictured at right, include a large oil painting of a head by Harold Kitner (9), who taught art and art history at Kent State from 1947 to 1990 and served as KSU’s first faculty ombudsman from 1967 to 1974. A piece by ceramic artist Toshiko Takaezu (11), who taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art for nearly a decade, was likely fired in a kiln on the Kent Campus by her friend Kirk Mangus, who was head of ceramics at Kent State from 1985 to 2013.
Two of the galleries Mr. Turner programs display items from the School of Art Collection—the Michener Gallery on the second floor of the University Library and the Hotel and Conference Center Gallery at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center.
The other galleries—including the CVA Gallery, Payto Gallery, Crawford Gallery and Downtown Gallery—exhibit art from local, regional, national and international artists. Students also have opportunities to exhibit their work in many of these spaces.
In addition, the KSU School of Art Galleries Rental Program offers Kent Campus organizations and offices the opportunity to rent artwork ($50 per piece, up to 5 pieces) from the School of Art Collection during the Annual Rental Program Show, held this year on June 7 & 8 at the CVA Gallery.
For more information, call 330-672-1379. To study a piece from the collection, contact Anderson Turner, haturner [at] kent.edu.
1. Mug and Saucer
Ceramic, 12" x 12" x 6"
2. Conferring Blue
Serigraph, 25" x 25"
3. Yoruba Figure
Lamidi Olonade Fakeye
Wood, 18 1/2" tall
4. La Mere Poule
Aquatint and drypoint 14" x 11"
5. Bi-Shell with Feather
6. Boy with Branch II
Aquatint on paper, 24" x 40.25"
7. Fantasy of Night
8. Chapter 1
Oil on panel
10. Jack of Spades
Lithograph on paper
Ceramic, 7.5" x 7.5"