Charles Millard said serving as the Ackland Art Museum director was the happiest time of his professional life. He had always been a curator elsewhere, but here he had the chance to build something special. An art lover first, he helped to add more than 800 works to the Ackland’s holdings, expanded the staff, launched an inaugural education program with its first University liaison and presided over a building renovation.
Even after retiring in 1993, Millard continued to help advance the Ackland, creating the Tyche Foundation (tì’ kee, Greek for goddess of chance and fortune) to benefit the museum. The Tyche Foundation gift brought 51 works, ranging across some 2,500 years and a variety of the world’s cultures, to Carolina.
When Millard died in 2017, he left the Ackland his entire 375-work collection ranging from South Asian sculpture and photographs to North Carolina pottery and 20th-century abstraction. The gift also includes early cartoons and comic strips, Byzantine earthenware of the 12th century, Japanese calligraphy and master prints from the Western tradition.
This is story number 72 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.