West Virginia University alumnus Harvey Peyton’s love of art has resulted in many generous gifts to the University art collection over the years.
His most recent gift is the 30th work of art he has presented to the University, followed by a financial commitment for the new Art Museum of WVU.
Peyton’s generosity will be recognized with a patio space named for him at the Museum Education Center.
Peyton and his wife, Jennifer, recently donated a 1939 lithographic print by Russian-born artist Louis Lozowick (1892-1973) titled “Derricks and Men (Riding the Girder).”
His contributions over the years have included mostly paintings, but also prints, drawings and mixed-media works by artists such as George Ames Aldrich, Wayman Adams, Pauline Palmer, Emil Bisttram, William Robinson Leigh, Werner Drewes, Grant Wood, Carl Holty, Philip Evergood, Harry Sternberg, Riva Helfond and Bernarda Bryson-Shahn, among others.
His gifts of works by West Virginia artist Blanche Lazzell have helped make the Art Museum of WVU the holder of the largest public collection of Lazzell’s art.
“We are grateful for Harvey Peyton’s generous gifts over the years that have expanded and strengthened the art collection immensely,” said Joyce Ice, director of the Art Museum of WVU.
“He has great enthusiasm and appreciation for art, and enjoys learning about, collecting, and sharing it. Harvey also has a good eye for museum-quality pieces. We are thrilled that he has now chosen to support the Art Museum’s capital project with a financial contribution as well.”
Peyton graduated from WVU in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in English and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the WVU College of Law in 1974, where he was lead articles editor of the West Virginia Law Review and was honored with the Order of the Coif.
He has been practicing law for 35 years at Peyton Law Firm, which he founded, with offices in Nitro, Putnam County, W.Va.
“Everything that I have gained professionally and much of what I have experienced personally came to me as a result of my experience at West Virginia University,” Peyton said.
“I deeply love this institution and if I can do some small thing to help this school obtain a greater level of excellence, I consider it a privilege.
“The construction of a freestanding art museum will present a venue allowing all of us to experience the greatness of the WVU art collection, while giving our students the opportunity to enrich themselves and develop career paths in the arts. For that we will all be better off. That is the reason I make this gift.”
Peyton has served on the Board of Directors of The Avampato Discovery Museum at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, the Board of Directors of the Putnam County Museum in the Community, and the Board of Directors of the Sunrise Museum in Charleston. He is a member of the Collections Committee of the Huntington Museum of Art and a former president of The Juliet Museum of Art Collectors Club.
Peyton is a past president of the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. He is a Fellow of the West Virginia Bar Foundation, a Dean’s Partner with the West Virginia University College of Law and a member of the Board of Governors of the West Virginia Association for Justice.
In 2004 he was the recipient of the Kathie C. Peyton Volunteerism Award for outstanding non-profit volunteer work in the Kanawha Valley.
Peyton’s art collection of nearly 200 pieces is mostly 20th-century American art. Many of the works hang either in the Nitro offices of the Peyton Law Firm or are available for personal viewing or loan to academic, civic and cultural-interest groups.
His collection, primarily non-objective works with an emphasis on the artists of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, also features outstanding examples of contemporary work by West Virginia artists.
Peyton has donated a considerable array of artwork to public-access sites such as WVU, the Sunrise Museum, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and others.
See the Peyton Law Firm Online Art Gallery: http://www.peytonlawfirm.com/Art-Collection/
Peyton’s contribution was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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