The Berea College Art Collection was established in 1935 as a teaching collection with the purpose of providing Berea College students with the best examples of art and artifacts from around the world. Currently, the art collection is made up of more than 14,000 works of art and artifacts of cultural significance and is known for its high quality.
The core of the collection includes paintings, prints, and photographs by European and American masters; contemporary ceramics; and Asian arts. Among the most significant works in the collection are Renaissance paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, Old Master prints including works by Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer, Japanese woodblock prints, over 3000 Doris Ulmann photographs, and paintings by Gilbert Stuart, Arthur Wesley Dow, Thomas Moran, and Henry Ossawa Tanner. The early works on paper were supplemented by a gift of contemporary American prints by Jasper Johns, Jacob Lawrence, and Sam Gilliam among others.A large portion of the exhibitions in our galleries showcase the art of contemporary artists working in a wide range of media. In addition to highlighting work on Kentucky-based artists, artists from across the country as well as international artists are displayed. Furthermore, exhibitions curated from ther permanent collection as well as occasional exhibits from outside collections.
Exhibitions are mounted in the Galleries during the academic year.