Leena and her husband Sheldon Peck gave 134 works of art valued at $17 million and an $8 million endowment for the Sheldon Peck curator of European and American art and for future acquisitions.
“I’ve had the opportunity to witness many extraordinary moments in our country’s museum history, but none equaled the thrill of today’s experience,” said Katie Ziglar, director of the Ackland Art Museum.
The donation includes seven works by Rembrandt which makes the Ackland the first public university art museum in the United States to own a collection of drawings by Rembrandt.
“With those seven great Rembrandt drawings, the Ackland becomes one of the leading art museums in the United States, and I could arguably say the world, with holdings of Rembrandt drawings,” Sheldon said.
“Most art museums have none.”
The collection was founded forty years ago.
“Dr. Sheldon Peck, a double Tar Heel, together with his late brother Harvey, also a double Tar Heel, founded this collection of old masters drawings,” Folt said.
After starting the collection, Sheldon said he worked hard to find the significant pieces he wanted.