Jerome Witkin (b. 1939), Portrait Study of Charles Rand Penney, c. 1986-1991
An avid collector and generous benefactor
Charles Rand Penney (1923-2010) donated his collection of Western New York Art to the then-named Burchfield Art Center at Buffalo State in 1991 and 1992. This collection includes art dating from 1895 to 1990 by many of the region’s most highly respected artists. In 1994 he presented his collections of works by Charles E. Burchfield, Roycroft artisans, and craft artists from Western New York, with documentary records and library materials on each. Possibly the most important element of this extraordinary gift was his collection of 183 works by Charles E. Burchfield, which had been the largest privately held. This marked a transitional period for the museum, adding significant depth and variety to the collections. On April 9, 1994 the Burchfield Art Center was re-dedicated as the Burchfield-Penney Art Center to honor Charles Rand Penney's patronage. In concert, Buffalo State presented him with an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts in May, 1995.