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Randolph College to Auction Four Paintings

Action to increase endowment to enhance financial strength of the College

10/2/2007 8:27:38 AM


Auction of Important American and Latin American Works Expected to Boost Endowment by $32 Million or More

October 2, 2007 (Lynchburg, VA) – In a decision designed to enhance the financial strength of the College, the Board of Trustees of Randolph College has authorized the sale of four paintings from its 3,500 work collection. Most of the collection is housed in the College’s Maier Museum of Art. The works will be sold at auctions to take place at Christie’s in New York City in November 2007. Proceeds from the sale will be invested in the College's endowment.

Works to be auctioned include George Bellows’ (American, 1882-1925) Men of the Docks, 1912; Edward Hicks’ (American, 1780-1849) A Peaceable Kingdom, ca. 1840-1845); Ernest Martin Hennings’ (American, 1886-1956) Through the Arroyo (n.d. 20th century); and Rufino Tamayo’s (Mexican, 1899-1991) Troubador, 1945. All four are significant paintings of exceptional cultural and historical value owned without restriction by Randolph College. Estimates for the paintings are: Bellows ($25/35 million), Hicks ($4/6 million), Hennings ($1/1.5 million), Tamayo ($2/3 million).

Randolph College has instituted a number of fiscally prudent measures in an effort to strengthen its long-term financial sustainability. In the past year, the College has undertaken a plan to increase enrollment by becoming a coeducational institution, significantly reducing staff, cutting expenses, and achieving a lower tuition discount rate. These measures taken together will put Randolph College on a track toward a strong financial future.

In exploring all possible options available, including shared partnership arrangements, the College sought counsel from board members, professional staff, alumnae, art experts and museum directors, and members of the community. Due to the need to reduce the College’s endowment spending rate, the Board ultimately determined that the sale of these works at auction was in the best interest of the College.

Throughout its deliberations, the Board was focused on trying to maintain the coherence of the collection by limiting the number of paintings sold. The Board is setting aside a portion of the proceeds to be used to endow the directorship of the Maier Museum.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations


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