North Carolina Museum of Art to Receive Large Modern Art Collection

A gift of more than one hundred twentieth-century paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs will be donated by collectors Jim and Mary Patton to the North Carolina Museum of Art instead of the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Raleigh News and Observer reports.

The Pattons decided against donating their multi-million dollar collection to the Ackland, where Jim Patton is an emeritus board member, after it delayed its long-standing expansion plans. Without expansion, the museum would not be able to accommodate the gift. However, the museum will be able to borrow pieces from the collection through long-term rotating loans and will receive several additional pieces from the couple.

NCMA has begun construction on a large gallery building, scheduled to open in April 2010, where it will exhibit much of the Patton collection.

According to Amanda Hughes, director of external affairs at the Ackland, the Pattons' decision caused no hard feelings. "Of course we're sad," she said. "This is a wonderful collection. We've had many, many conversations about what an important gift this would be to the Ackland. But it makes perfect sense to go to NCMA. The timeline for the new Ackland building just doesn't match with their timeline."

Craig Jarvis. "Museum of Art Snags Modern Works." Raleigh News and Observer 05/22/2008.