The Clay Center's Avampato Discovery Museum’s greatest educational resource is its art collection. The Permanent Collection of Art is accessible year-round to visitors, students and researchers. The collection consists of more than 800 pieces of art. You can also view them all online!

Members of the Collectors Club purchase a new artwork for the Collection each year. While the collection consists primarily of works on paper by American artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, charming examples of outdoor sculpture and other mediums offer diversity and exposure to broad cultural topics.

Chuck Close(b. 1940)
Phil II
Handmade paper, 1982

A photo realist painter, Chuck Close specializes in large portraits using photographs projected onto canvas. He creates huge portraits in various media, with careful attention to detail in every section of the composition. The hundreds of small monochromatic pigment squares, which comprise this image of the avant-garde minimalist image of the avant-garde minimalist composer, Philip Glass, were placed in the paper pulp prior to pressing it through a grid screen and then dried.

1987 Purchase by Sunrise Collectors Club

Joseph Hirsch (1910 - 1981)
Masseur Tom
Oil on canvas, 1933

The powerful working style of Joseph Hirsch placed him at the forefront of twentieth century social realist painters. Inspiration for his art came from everyday events and ordinary people. In 1932, Hirsch studied with George Luks, a member of "The Eight" also know as the Ashcan School. It was from Luks that Hirsch acquired his brisk painting style and accurate draftsmanship. Shortly after Luks died in 1933, Hirsch, at age 24, painted this life-size portrait, which brought Hirsch to national attention.

1999 Purchase by Sunrise Collectors Club

Portrait of Henry Gibbs
oil on canvas, 1670

In colonial New England, portraits were painted to honor the memory of a patron or to highlight one's social standing. Only two dozen mid-seventeenth century colonial American paintings exist in public and private collections today. Included in this group are the portraits of Robert, Margaret and Henry Gibbs who were children of Robert Gibbs, a Boston merchant. Henry Gibbs, seen in this portrait, was the youngest Gibbs child. He was 1½ years old when this portrait was painted. The anonymous artist who painted the three Gibbs portraits was trained in the Elizabethan style of painting practiced in England and colonial America. This style traditionally depicted subjects in a semi-frontal pose with elongated proportions. It also dictated that the subject's head be slightly tilted with the eyes gazing directly at the viewer. Luminous shadows and detailed surface ornamentation of clothing were also typical of this style.

A 1995 Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David M. Giltinan, Sr.
funding provided by: accessibility: find us on: contact us press room privacy statement email sign-up employment

WV Division of Culture and History WV Fund for the Arts national Endowment for the Arts

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