Newly Acquired Works of Art Bring Total Close to 400 Pieces

As donors increasingly sought to contribute works of art to County College of Morris (CCM), faculty and staff responded by forming a Public Art Committee that has since grown the college’s art collection to nearly 400 pieces. The group’s mission is to grow, manage and use the CCM art collection for exhibition and education for the campus community and the public.

Douglas Prince, Coalescence, 2007

Two recent acquisitions, totaling 119 pieces, were curated by committee member Professor of Photography Hrvoje Slovenc. “We’re excited to grow our public art collection,” says John Marlin, vice president of Academic Affairs. “Displaying works like this around campus elevates our imagination and helps us see the world in new ways.”

Plans for each of the acquisitions began last fall. “In October 2021, we were given access to art collections from three major donors by fine art appraiser and advisor Jane Lifer,” says Slovenc. Approximately 68 mixed media pieces in total were curated.

Robert von Sternberg, Maneadero, Ensenada, Mexico 1984

Most recently, Slovenc curated 51 works of photography shot by 14 distinguished artists courtesy of The Museum Project. “This is a group of mid-career to late-career artists, primarily American photographers, who donate their work to institutions for educational purposes,” he says.

The philanthropic association was established 10 years ago. Since its inception, The Museum Project has donated more than 6,631 photographs to 225 institutional permanent collections of fine art in 49 states, Washington D.C., Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The institutions include Brown University, Cornell Fine Art Museum, Princeton University Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art now CCM.

“I’m so happy CCM joined this impressive list,” says Slovenc. “The 51 pieces from The Museum Project are here on campus. This along with the three collections from Jane Lifer has grown our collection by almost 120 new pieces for a total close to 400.”

Future Goals

The committee hopes the collection continues to grow. One goal, according to member Nieves Gruniero-Roadcap, dean of the School of Liberal Arts, is if the college can renew an initiative to secure works from faculty and students. Space is also a challenge.

Gretty Rubenstein Rotman, Midsummer Night Dream,1980

“We’d like to take pieces out of an organized storage system, display them throughout campus, and periodically rotate or swap out with others,” says committee member Kelly Whalen, chair of the Department of Art & Design.

“It would be most ideal to transform the campus integrating mixed-use of public spaces to help broaden the experience for the entire CCM community and the public,” says Slovenc.

As Marlin adds, “Seeing art is a vital part of lifelong learning, so we aim to make that part of everyone’s CCM experience, whether a student, a faculty or staff member or a visitor.”

Members of CCM Public Art Committee include: Dr. John Marlin, vice president of Academic Affairs; Hrvoje Slovenc, associate professor of Photography; Nieves Gruniero-Roadcap, dean of the School of Liberal Arts, professor of Photography, and former chair of the Department of Art and Design; Kelly Whalen, chair of the Department of Art and Design, associate professor of Design; Brian Olson, assistant professor of chemistry, Co Lab coordinator