Comprising nearly 3,000 works of art, the Anderson Gallery’s permanent collection serves primarily as an educational resource for VCU. The majority of the Gallery’s holdings are works on paper, including prints, drawings and photographs; the Gallery also houses a number of paintings, small sculptures and textiles. VCU students, faculty and staff have access to these works for research and teaching purposes.
The Gallery’s Permanent Collection was established in 1971 through a gift of 800 works given by Dr. Henry H. Hibbs, former provost and head of the Richmond Professional Institute. Consisting mostly of 16th Π19th century prints, this gift includes work by artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn, James Whistler, and Vincent van Gogh. Since this initial gift, many individuals and organizations have donated objects to the Anderson Gallery. The collection now includes a diverse array of artwork, such as photographic portfolios by Larry Clark, Robert Doisneau, Garry Winogrand and Edouard Boubat, books illustrated by David Hockney and Francisco Clemente, and several examples by well-known folk artists William Edmundson, Ruth Clyde Proffitt, Reverend Howard Finster, and Mose Tolliver. Additionally, the Gallery is home to many works by distinguished VCU School of the Arts faculty, as well as a print archive from the Richmond Printmaking Workshop.
In 2003, the Anderson Gallery received over 300 sketches and drawings by VCU School of the Arts founding faculty member Theresa Pollak. Documenting her travels through Europe and her daily life at home in Richmond, these works were bequeathed to the Anderson Gallery by Ms. Pollak’s estate with the intention of instructing and inspiring future generations of VCU students.
Works from the collection have frequently been exhibited at the Gallery. There have been a number of exhibitions through the years devoted to the various artists, media and themes represented in the collection. The Gallery has organized exhibitions of work by Dürer, Winslow Homer, and Theresa Pollak, among others. Recently, as part of their graduate curriculum, students in VCU’a Department of Art History Museum Studies Program have developed and presented exhibitions using the Gallery’s collection as a resource.