Colby College in Waterville, Maine, has announced a gift of art worth more than $100 million from alumnus Peter Lunder ('56) and his wife, Paula.
The gift to Colby's Museum of Art will add nearly eleven hundred and fifty artworks to the museum's collection and create the Lunder Institute for American Art, establishing Colby as the only liberal arts college in the United States with a world-class art museum and global research center dedicated to American art. Among other things, the institute will bring together artists, curators, and students in cross-disciplinary activities, while an intensive residency program will offer expanded opportunities for students of all disciplines to interact with scholars and artists.
The gift includes paintings, sculptures, photography, and works on paper by more than a hundred and fifty artists whose work spans the sixteenth to twenty-first centuries, including a 1501 engraving by Albrecht Dürer and works by Mary Cassatt, Jasper Johns, Nina Katchadourian, Jacob Lawrence, Maya Lin, Joan Mitchell, Claes Oldenburg, Betye Saar, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt Van Rijn, Ai Weiwei, Fred Wilson, and James McNeill Whistler. Together with a gift of art valued at more than $100 million made by the Lunders in 2007, the latest commitment brings the total number of works donated to Colby by the couple to more than fifteen hundred.
In addition to the art they have donated to the school, the Lunders also have provided support for the museum's Lunder Wing and a number of endowed curatorial positions. A Colby life overseer, Peter Lunder serves on the board of the Harold Alfond Foundation, which in 2016 partnered with the school on a $20 million investment focused on revitalizing downtown Waterville; Paula Lunder is a life trustee of the school.
"For many years, we have been inspired and impressed by Colby's teaching mission and the many ways that the museum is deeply integrated into the curriculum to become a vibrant part of College life," said the couple in a statement. "We are delighted that our art collection will be shared with future Colby students, the Waterville community, and visitors to Maine, and we know that Colby College will do a marvelous job enhancing the collection with their academic programs — we feel that Colby is the perfect home for our collection."