Western’s Campus Sculpture Collection is nationally renowned, with important works by distinguished American and European sculptors of the late 20th century to the present. American Works on Paper complements the sculpture collection with a strong survey of American artists of the post-war era. The Leese collection further extends the scope with 19th and 20th century prints and drawings by North American, European and Japanese artists. Other collections include a small selection of paintings by Northwest artists, a group of South-east Asian ceramics, small-scale sculptures, and a study collection of representative chairs by international 20th century designers. The collections are available to students, faculty, staff, and the public by appointment.
The University art collections include all works of art acquired by the Western Gallery and by any college/administrative unit by purchase from both state and restricted funds; purchases through capital building projects or percent for art monies for interior and exterior public sculpture; works acquired through contractual agreements with visiting artists; works from direct research/project grants; and all works by gift, donation, private grant or bequest through the Western Washington University Foundation for the Western Gallery and for the University's Art Collections. Strict procedures for acqusition, stewardship, and deaccssioning of artworks are detailed in the University Policy for Curating University Artwork.
Campus Sculpture Collection
Sited throughout the 10 acre campus, the collection includes works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Alice Aycock, Scott Burton, Anthony Caro, Nancy Holt, David Ireland, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Isamu Noguchi, Tom Otterness, Beverly Pepper, Ulrich Rückreim, Richard Serra, Do Ho Suh, Mark di Suvero, Joel Shapiro, George Trakas, and Meg Webster, to mention only a few of the 35 artists represented.
Works on Paper: American Art 1945 – 1975
“Works on Paper” was assembled in 1975 and 1976 by the collector Virginia Wright and gallerist Richard Bellamy. It consists of 97 works by 48 artists, including Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Robert Morris, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, and Andy Warhol. For forty years, the collection was owned collaboratively by a non-profit cooperation of seven museums,The Washington Art Consortium, which was founded by Ms. Writght, When the Consortium disbanded in 2017 the collection was gifted to Western Washington University. View the collection.
In 2005 Marian Leese Boylan gave her parent's private collection to the Western Gallery. This collection, primarily American and European prints and drawings accompanied by a few paintings, enlarged individual gifts from Al and Vera Leese since 1995. Marian Leese Boylan also has made major contributions to the Leese Collection since 2005. After her death in 2017, Marian Boylan’s Estate has donated to the Western Gallery the last artworks from her Collection. The Leese/Boylan Collection comprises American and European prints, drawings and paintings from modernist and contemporary artists, including Richard Anuszkiewicz, Willy Baumeister, Leon Bakst, Pul Klee, Armin Landeck, Georges Braque, Roberto Matta, Henry Moore, Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Jacques Villon. The Collection included a substantial compendium of artworks from prominent Northwest artists, including Marc Tobey, Fay Chong, Paul Horiuchi and Wendell Brazeau, and thus provided the majority of the artworks from the artistic movement that defined the 20th century art in our geographic region. The Collection also provided the Western Gallery with a small number of Japanese prints from the 19th and 20th century.
In 2010 Western Gallery received over 175 works in various media by Northwest artists, a gift of Safeco Insurance, a member of the Liberty Mutual Group, and the Washington Art Consortium. The collection comprises a large body of works by contemporary West Coast artists working in a variety of media: Photography — Jim Ball, Jim Burns, Michael Burns, Victor Gardaya, Jim Laser; Printmaking and Drawing — Fay Chong, Art Hansen, Robert Bruce Inverarity. Painting — Richard Gilkey, Morris Graves, Stephen McClelland, Ambrose Patterson; and Sculpture — Philip McCracken , Sonja Blomdhal, Fritz Dreisbach. Selections from these works are on public view in the main lobbies of the Performing Arts Center.
Prints and Drawing Collections
The Collections are particularly strong on modernist and contemporary American and European artists., including works by acclaimed artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Käthe Kollwitz, Edouard Manet, Clarence Holbrook, Marc Tobey, Richard Correll, Charles Edward Heaney, Frank Weston Benson that represent twentieth-century Modernism.
Helen Loggie Archive
Western Gallery holds over 80 of Northwest artist Helen Loggie's intricate drawings and etchings of the flora and fauna of Washington State. Robert and Linda Frazier and Peggy Frances Frazier, members of the Loggie family, donated the majority of works in 1993. Additional donors to the archive include David B. Schaub, the George Keagle Estate, Barbara LaCasse and Robin Contratto.
Mary Randlett Collection
In addition to three nature photographs by Mary Randlett, Western Gallery holds 46 of her portraits of Northwest artists and thinkers. The series offers a precious and indelible documentation of the region’s intellectual and artistic life during a particularly creative period in the second half of the 20th century.
The Chair Collection focuses on 20th century furniture created by international designers. The collection holds approximately 65 prime examples of chair design, ranging from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1980s. The collection originated in 1950 with Dr. Dorothy Ramsland, Professor of Home Economics and founder of the WWU Interior Design Academic major. Notable holdings include chairs designed by Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, Hans Wegner, Aarne Jacobsen, Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Gehry and Maya Lin.