Memphis – Beverly and Sam Ross, local art collectors, recently tripled the scope of their collection at Christian Brothers University (CBU) with a single gift of an additional 52 pieces of contemporary glass.
Beginning in 1995, the Rosses had previously donated 25 pieces from their collection to CBU. Along with three pieces donated by the artists Gary Beecham, Richard Ritter, and Tommi Rush, the Beverly and Sam Ross Collection of Contemporary Studio Glass at CBU now comprises 80 artworks by 48 artists of international stature.
“This collection represents many of the best known artists in the studio glass world and is arguably one of the most impressive collections of its kind at any educational institution in the United States,” said Brother Vincent Malham, president of Christian Brothers University. “Needless to say, we are deeply indebted to Beverly and Sam for affording CBU this enviable distinction.”
A selection of the new donations to the Beverly and Sam Ross Collection of Contemporary Studio Glass was exhibited for the first time to university benefactors during a musical reception at CBU’s University Theater on April 27. Among the other artists included in the collection are Dale Chihuly, Harvey Littleton, John Littleton, Richard Jolley, Jack Ink, William Morris, Stanislaw Borowski, Noel Laue, Katherine and William Bernstein, Sam Herman, Gianni Toso, Kate Vogel, Mark Peiser, Kari Russell Pool, and Paul Stankard.
“This collection not only helps us as educators in pursuing new dimensions and techniques in the education of our students but also provides a beautiful atmosphere for those studies to take place,” said Brother Robert Werle, curator of art and special collections at CBU. “Students often stop to look at the glass displayed in the library and around the campus, and it engages them in conversations about the beauty of glass, glass as art, the nature of art and other conversations that we — nor they — ever dreamed they would have. We are very fortunate to have this collection available to our students and to have Sam and Beverly as longtime friends.”
In 2005, CBU renamed its art gallery in appreciation for the Rosses’ numerous contributions as patrons of the arts in the City of Memphis and the University. The Beverly and Sam Ross Gallery is located on the lower level of Plough Memorial Library on the CBU campus. For information on the gallery, call (901) 321-3432 or visit www.cbu.edu/library/gallery ###