Letter from the Provost

Gayle R. Davis

The collecting, display and utilization of authentic works of art from around the world in support of interdisciplinary learning has become an expected and cherished element of a Grand Valley State University education. Begun under the leadership of President Emeritus Arend Lubbers more than 20 years ago and supported by both of his successors and their administrations, our university-wide art program has grown to encompass a collection of more than 12,000 original works of art displayed and exhibited in 120 buildings located on the university’s seven campuses located in six Michigan cities.

Supportive communities and the generosity of philanthropists and donors like the Stuart and Barbara Padnos Foundation have enthusiastically supported this program of art acquisition, which is strategically and professionally managed by the GVSU Art Gallery. Stuart and Barbara’s shared passion for collecting art during their lifetime was a legacy that they shared with their children and extended family, and which now, thanks to their gift, is extended to generations of students at Grand Valley State University. Their donation of 35 works created in a variety of media forms an overview of both European and American art of the twentieth century. The Padnos’ evolving artistic connoisseurship and wide range of aesthetic interests now forms a legacy of learning which adds immeasurably to the great works of art to which our students are directly exposed.

The couple’s shared passion for collecting embraced notable international names in painting, sculpture and works on paper. Included in their gift are paintings by Mathias Alten, Ivan Fedorovich Choultse, Edouard Leon Cortes, Jean Dufy, Grandma Moses, Paulémile Pissarro, Fernand Renard, William Samuel Schwartz and Sam Thal, among others. Thomas Hart Benton, Marc Chagall, Raoul Dufy, Childe Hassam, Jack Levine, Paul Signac, Sam Thal, Victor Vasarely, Reynold Weidenaar and Eugène Louis Boudin are among the artists who worked in watercolor, drawing, prints and collage on paper. Sculpture, in a wide range of materials including bronze, granite, limestone, scrap metal and welded steel are represented by Judith Brown, Aurora Cañero, Richard Erdman, Nicola Hicks, George J. Kafka, Allan Houser, Mario Negri and Alvar Sunol Munoz-Ramos

An exhibition of the legacy of the “shared passion” of Stuart and Barbara Padnos in the GVSU Art Gallery forms an important part of this year’s Fall Arts Celebration, after which these works of art will be mounted for long term display on the walls of the newly renovated Zumberge Hall on our Allendale campus. This catalog, also graciously and generously supported by the Stuart and Barbara Padnos Foundation, will serve as an online resource to the quality and content of their gift.

The collection, its exhibition and this accompanying catalog honor the many contributions of the entire Padnos family to Grand Valley State University and celebrate the gift of Stuart and Barbara’s “shared passion” to our students.



Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
Grand Valley State University

Gayle R. Davis