Beginning July 20th, UAM will display two exhibitions drawn from the Hilliard's collection. Over the past four decades the University's Art Museum has established through the generous gifts from local patrons and Alumni a wonderful collection of American and European painting. These exhibitions will highlight significant works in the collection and lesser known works.

The exhibition of American and European Painting presents the work of John Casilear, Arthur Dove, John McCrady, Granville Perkins, Arthur Davies, Everett Shinn, Henry Hutchinson Shaw, Jules Charles Rozier, Henri Eugene Le Sidaner, Henri Manguin, Pierre August Renoir, Pierre Bonnard, Jean Dufy, Camille Corot, Adolphe J. T. Monticelli, Jean Joseph Vaudechamp, Julius Caesar Ibbetson, John Wesley Jarvis, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Godfrey Kneller, Alessandro Varotari among others.

Modern and Contemporary art is a rapidly growing aspect of the museum's permanent collection. This exhibition features the work of artists with roots in Louisiana who have made significant contributions to the American Art scene in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The exhibition presents the work of Edward Pramuk, Margaret Evangeline, Robert Rauschenberg, William Moreland, Ida Kohlmeyer, Clyde Connell, John Hathorn, Lynda Dautreuil, Mark Grote, and new acquisitions by Cora Kelley Ward.

About the Collection
The permanent collection of the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum began with a dedicated group of university faculty and community volunteers. In 1957, Dr. R. Warren Robinson, head of the USL art and architecture department, William Moreland, Chair of the Fine Arts Section, and Fred Daspit, Professor of Art, began acquiring works for study and teaching. Daspit began collecting faculty and graduating student work … and this became the nascent University art collection. Through these efforts, Daspit attracted the attention of collector W. E. Groves who donated to the University its first major acquisitions of artwork.

In1967, Frances Love, a local marketing professional was hired as the part-time Museum director. Between 1968 and 1983, she received a number of significant contributions from local families, further establishing the growing art collection. In June of 1983, Herman Mhire, a member of the visual art faculty was appointed to succeed Mrs. Love. He was charged with merging the Art Center for Southwestern Louisiana and the Gallery of the School of Art and Architecture into the University Art Museum, which would be housed in Fletcher Hall along with the permanent collection. In 1995, Mhire resigned his role as director of the University Art Museum. Bryan Lafaye was appointed as Museum Director and under his leadership (1996 - 1999), the museum acquired new works for the collection including a number of significant French paintings contributed by Robert and Jolie Shelton.

Mhire returned to his position in 2000 and soon thereafter Lafayette residents, Paul and Lulu Hilliard, pledged to UL Lafayette Foundation five million dollars for the construction of a new multimillion-dollar Museum facility. The new building provided the first state of the art museum environment for the care and presentation of the collection. Soon after the opening in 2004, Janet and Byron Begneaud contributed the triptych by her brother Robert Rauschenburg on view in this exhibition.

In 2006, Mark A Tullos, Jr. was appointed director and soon after, Jolie and Robert Shelton established the Robert and Jolie Shelton endowment for collections. Tullos hired Dr. Lee Gray, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections in 2008. Since then Tullos, Gray, and the Museum’s staff have diligently built the collection and presented a delightful array of traveling exhibitions reaching out to a variety of interests and tastes attracting out-of-town visitors from along the gulf coast.

Collections preservation has been a primary objective for the past five years. In 2009 the museum underwent a Collections Conservation Assessment funded by a grant from Preservation Heritage, and in the same year, museum director Tullos was invited to participate in the Institute of Museum and Library Services national summit concerning saving our national treasures. Critical and long overdue conservation, preservation and provenance research has been performed on the art collection. The Hilliard Museum’s reputation for excellence is now recognized internationally and our network of partners, both globally and locally, continues to grow. This year the Hilliard Museum was one of four museums recognized by the Foundation Alberto and Annette Giacometti, based in Paris, France, for protection of artworks and artist rights. Other nominees included The National Gallery, London, Victoria Albert Museum, London, and the Detroit Institute of Art.
Since 2005 over 600 works have been added to the collection including works by early 20th century American masters, renowned artists from the Southern Regionalist movement and Modern masters from Louisiana who made significant contributions to the American art scene. In 2008, the Warhol Foundation contributed a collection of photographs by Andy Warhol.

In the past two years, a bountiful number of works have been added to the collection, including a donation by artist Hunt Slonem. Additions to the museum’s collection of works by contemporary women artists include four important paintings by New York painter and Louisiana native, Margaret Evangeline and a three-dimensional painting by Alabama artist Dale Kennington. Martha Jane Stevens of Florida has contributed a large collection of works by Louisiana sculptor, Clyde Connell along with a rare painting included in this exhibition. Artist and collector George Newton of Kailua, Hawaii, a major contributor to the collection for the past five years, donated a major work by John McCrady and most recently donated to the museum’s collection three outstanding paintings by American artists. Gilbert Gaul, a late 19th century artist best known for his Civil War era illustrations and paintings, a watercolor by American Abstract Expressionist, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, and a stunning landscape by Hudson River School painter John W. Casilear featured in this exhibition.

Writer, educator and art collector, Elizabeth Dubus Baldridge, has enriched the museum’s collection of American painting with numerous gifts including an enchanting watercolor by American Modernist Arthur Dove. The Museum also received a large abstract painting by Louisiana painter Edward Pramuk. Through a financial gift from Alabama collector Lynn Barstis Williams Katz the museum purchased three prints, one titled Fred’s Pleasure Club by artist Warrington Colescott and two prints by southern artist and printmaker Philip Sage. A new sculpture by former Louisiana resident and now New Mexico artist, John Geldersma, was purchased and placed in the museum foyer. This purchase was made possible, in part, through proceeds from the Jolie and Robert Shelton Collection Endowment. Georgia artist, Joseph Almyda, donated three large mixed media works on paper. Nearly 100 prints were added to our growing Mirea Press Collection of American printmaking.

British Petroleum Company recently donated its corporate collection to the Hilliard University Art Museum. The collection began in the 1960s with the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) under the direction of artist, Herbert Bayer. The contemporary works were not only meant to enhance the corporate spaces, but to encourage creativity in their employees.

Comprising many Louisiana artists, the artworks are a reflection of 1980s contemporary art in the United States. The Hilliard Museum is not only committed to serving our parent University audience but also broader audiences in the south Louisiana area. The Hilliard Museum is committed to engagement of visitors in creative and meaningful ways that have the potential to nurture life-long learners while bridging university and community, art and education, generations and cultures.

We are indebted to the following individuals and families who have made contributions featured in these exhibitions. These gifts to future generations are a significant legacy. We thank the numerous donors whose gifts have made the Hilliard Museum a truly wonderful museum.
Dr. William McCray
Herbert A. Hamilton, Ph.D.
Dr. Eugene A. Kraemer, Jr.
James D. and Evelyn Parkerson
George E. Rogers
Robert and Jolie Shelton
Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Groves
Henry B. Abrahams
Dr. Isaac Monroe Cline
J. Arthur and Jewel Roy, Jr.
Elizabeth Dubus Baldridge
George and Mary Jo Newton
Judge John Shaw
Hunt Slonem
Janet and Byron Begneaud
Sarah Jane Stevens