The Art History minor at Marietta College allows students to explore a variety of time periods, art movements, and cultures, including the study of Asia, preparing students to engage with an increasingly interconnected world. The program also includes a course in museum practices, which provides hands-on training for work in galleries, museums, or other arts institutions. As part of the course, students research Marietta College’s permanent art collection and propose and design exhibits for display in the art galleries on campus. The program also offers exciting possibilities for international travel and study.
The Marietta College Permanent Art Collection is comprised of works ranging from Pre-Columbian artifacts to abstract serigraphs. The college also has built the collection through patron donations of many individual works and collections over the years and from purchase awards granted to artists through national juried exhibitions.
The collection features prints from master artists including Rembrandt Harmenzs Van Rijn, Kathe Kollwitz, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Georges Rouault, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. These pieces, formerly part of the Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art, were purchased for the college by former Art Department Chair Charles L. Peterson. In 1965, Vincent Price, in conjunction with Sears Roebuck and Co., sold prints from Price's collection to individuals and collectors. Price was well known for his interest in art and for his role as an avid art patron. Because of this, Peterson traveled to Chicago to examine the collection and to purchase pieces for Marietta College Permanent Art Collection.
Other purchased works featured in the collection originated as part of Mainstreams, the Marietta College Crafts Regional, or the Marietta College Crafts National - juried exhibitions formerly hosted by the Art Department. Many pieces were purchased from individual artists and added to the Permanent Art Collection including sculpture, textiles, oil and watercolor paintings, and jewelry. Over the years, many of the artists who participated in these exhibitions have received wide acclaim, including sculpturist David Hostetler, furniture artist Christopher L. Weiland, sculpturist Tom Deady, and painter Charles L. Peterson.
The college's Pre-Columbian and African Collections originated from gifts of 24 separate donors beginning in 1974. This part of the Permanent Collection includes ceremonial masks, tapestries, bowls and other terra cotta vessels, figurines, jewelry, and hunting and cooking tools. Many of the artifacts are rare and bare detailed engraving or pigment markings. The Pre-Columbian and African Collections have been featured in exhibitions and displays at Marietta College, the Cultural Center of Fine Arts in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and the Sunrise Museum in Charleston, West Virginia.
In 2003, Marietta College received the donation of four-color serigraphs from Paul Koether by Portsmouth-born artist Clarence Holbrook Carter. Purchased from the artist in 1978, these serigraphs have been featured in museums along the east coast of the United States, including Harvard University's Fogg Museum of Art.
These pieces provide the Marietta College community with an opportunity to view works of art that would normally be found in large museums. Today, pieces from the collection are featured in academic buildings and offices on campus and are used in studio art, graphic design and art history classes. Selections are also featured in occasional exhibitions of the collection in the Grover M. Hermann Fine Arts Center Gallery. We are very fortunate to have these works to enhance the cultural environment of Marietta College. To maintain the collection's viability, new pieces continue to be added to the collection through generous donations from alumni and friends of the college.