FAU receives art donation worth more than $3.8 million

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Staff report

Florida Atlantic University recently received a donation of artwork valued at more than $3.8 million from Rick and Lesley Stone.

A total of 17 paintings, including works by Henri Matisse, Edward Willis Redfield, David Park and John Henry Twachtman, will make up the Rick and Lesley Stone Art Collection.

The collection will be housed in the Ritter Art Gallery on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

“We are honored to receive this coveted art collection from the Stones,” said Michael J. Horswell, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. “With the addition of such a distinctive collection, our University Galleries and art history programs have the potential to establish a teaching collection component that will enhance educational opportunities and professional training for students.”

The Stones also provided additional support for the creation of an Art History Teaching Laboratory in the Ritter Gallery. The space and collection will provide students opportunities to study art up-close.

“We are pleased to provide these works with a lovely permanent home where they can be enjoyed up-close by FAU students forever,” said Rick Stone. “We think the space is perfect not just for viewing but for learning about art and art curation.”

Rick Stone is a Palm Beach attorney and an adjunct professor in FAU’s College of Business. He also has a scholarship for veterans that funds tuition for one male and one female veteran student and sponsors a faculty writing program on the topics of law and economic.

He said he thought he would move into a home to hang all his pieces, but when the move didn’t happen, he began looking for a place to donate his paintings instead of putting them into storage.

The collection contains pieces of American Impressionists and some second tier French Impressionists.

The Department of Visual Arts and Art History at FAU actively engages and expands students’ creative and scholarly abilities within the context of a disciplinary and interdisciplinary setting.

The program is devoted to offering a diverse curriculum dedicated to educating artists and art historians. There are more than 800 graduate and undergraduate majors currently enrolled, making it one of the largest art programs in the state of Florida. It attracts both national and international students, who study alongside of more than 20 full–time faculty and active artists.

“Giving students access to such high-quality works of art in a teaching setting allows us to better prepare them for careers in museums, galleries, and other arts professions,” said Karen Leader, Ph.D., associate professor of art history, who worked with the Stones in shaping the gift. “As we did this spring, we look forward to inviting Mr. Stone into our classes to partner with him in this educational initiative.”

For more information about the collection and about donating to FAU, contact Laurie Carney at 561-297-3606.