Exhibition | Sampling the Old Masters: Highlights from the Bob Jones Museum

Jun 13, 2018 — Feb 10, 2019

Only a few miles apart, the GCMA and the Bob Jones Museum span centuries and continents, and now for the first time, the two powerhouses have collaborated to present Sampling the Old Masters: Highlights from the Bob Jones Museum. Featuring more than 20 examples of works by such artists as Rubens, van Dyck, and Botticelli, the exhibition is on view through February 10.

Robert Reynolds Jones Jr. (1911-1997) was born in Montgomery, Alabama. After graduating from Bob Jones College, the school founded by his father, he earned a master’s degree in history at the University of Pittsburgh and did additional graduate work at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Northwestern University. In 1948, shortly after Bob Jones University moved to Greenville, Carl Hamilton, an art collector and friend, suggested that Jones begin collecting paintings for an art gallery. The school’s executive committee agreed, established an acquisition fund, and empowered Jones to begin collecting art for the university with the provision that the collection would be limited to western religious art.

Because the market for Baroque art was depressed in the 1950s, Jones was able to purchase a number of important paintings at astoundingly low prices. Exhibited for the first time on Thanksgiving Day 1951, the original collection comprised twenty-five paintings and included works by Botticelli, Botticini, Ghirlandaio, Tintoretto, Veronese, and Ribera.

By 1991, the Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University had acquired more than four hundred works, and numbers of national and international exhibitions have borrowed from the collection. While the campus location undergoes renovations, the Greenville County Museum of Art is pleased to present Sampling the Old Masters: Highlights from the Bob Jones Museum through February 10.

Free, guided tours of the exhibition are scheduled for the following dates:

Sunday, June 17 at 2 pm (Erin Jones, M&G director)
Sunday, August 26 at 2 pm (Erin Jones)
Thursday, September 20 at 11 am (Donnalynn Hess, M&G director of education)
Sunday, December 9 at 2 pm (Erin Jones)