In September 2018, the Ackland Art Museum kicked off its 60th birthday festivities. The year-long celebration started with a bang… or rather, a ball. As a gift to the Town of Chapel Hill, the Ackland hosted the world-renowned RedBall Project — brainchild of Asheville-based artist Kurt Perschke — for a weeklong performance. Each evening, the 250-pound inflatable ball was deflated and moved to new locations across Chapel Hill. RedBall greeted students at the South Building and the Undergraduate Library; entertained children at the Ackland Art Museum and the Chapel Hill Public Library; and delighted passersby at Koury Hall, the Forest Theatre and Franklin Street’s Varsity Alley.
Break New Ground: FacilitiesWith such a large collection in just over 10,000 square feet of gallery space, we are bursting at the seams! More space will mean the ability to display more works of art and to increase research and conservation efforts while offering more dynamic, flexible programmatic and educational spaces and public amenities. We want to provide our community with the greatest ease of access and latest innovations that updated and reimagined spaces can offer.
Ensure Access for All: Unrestricted SupportWe are committed to remaining free for all. Gifts of unrestricted support give us the ability to allocate funds to the areas of greatest need. Your gift not only furthers our mission, but also gives us more flexibility to create innovative educational materials, provide state-of-the-art interpretation resources, initiate public outreach and more.
Lead the Conversation: Endowed PositionsOur curatorial team works tirelessly to research and display our collection. Our educators use the collection to inform all visitors — from UNC classes to K-12 students to the general public. Continuing to recruit motivated talent will ensure that the breadth of our collection and expertise is represented in the galleries. An expanded staff offers innumerable possibilities for scholarship, collaboration and discovery.
Become a Destination: A Celebrated CollectionThe Museum’s permanent collection consists of almost 19,000 works of art, featuring North Carolina’s premier collections of Asian art and works of art on paper (drawings, prints and photographs), as well as significant collections of European masterworks, 20th-century and contemporary art, and North Carolina pottery. To become a true destination for local, national and global audiences, the Ackland must continue to expand its permanent collection to represent the entire world’s scope of visual creativity and diversity. Our acquisitions committee works diligently to acquire global art that will enhance our offerings and help us become a truly encyclopedic museum.
Create an Experience: Programs and InitiativesWe foster a broader understanding of the world by creating dynamic experiences that cultivate new ways of seeing. Art is the supreme form of communication; it creates empathy, appreciation and understanding. We strive to continue building on existing programs to expand our work, attract new audiences, and push the boundaries of tradition with new and innovative offerings.
Katie Ziglar ’79 has always chased what lay beyond life’s boundaries. She hopes to redefine them for the Ackland.
The University dedicated the Ackland Art Museum — then called the William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center — on September 20, 1958.
Charles Millard said serving as the Ackland Art Museum director was the happiest time of his professional life.