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Sarah Gillespie Collection

The Sarah Gillespie Collection is considered to be the most comprehensive and extensive collection of art executed by Mississippians during the twentieth century. Numbering over 600 works and including work by artists from every section of the state, employing various media and exploring wide ranging subject matter, the collection is a true artistic, social and historical treasure which represents the work, determination and enthusiasm of Miss Gillespie.

In 1982 Miss Gillespie began donating works to William Carey College, (University since 2008). She continued throughout her lifetime, and bequeathed a large number to the University. Though the Sarah Gillespie Gallery, located on the Coast Campus of WCU, was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the collection has undergone extensive conservation and preservation measures. These measures saved the collection and allow full representation of Miss Gillespie’s intent and life’s work.

The collection includes two dimensional work in a wide range of media—oil, watercolor, batik, collage pencil sketch, lithograph, block print, pen and ink. Many artists represented in this collection are nationally recognized and exert significant influence on their contemporaries. Among the most well known nationally are Walter Anderson, Bill Dunlap, Kate Freeman Clark, John McCrady, Theora Hamblett and Alan Flattman. Others include Karl Wolfe and his wife Mildred Nungester Wolfe, William Hollingsworth and Marie Hull, Sam Gore, Charles Ambrose, Tommie Williams, Mary Katharine Deloach, Lucile Parker, and Emmitt Thames.

The collection is also notable because of its breadth. Much can be learned about the vocations and lifestyle of Mississippians by studying the subject matter of the paintings, and noting the changes occurring during the century.

Exhibits will be drawn from the collection, changing periodically to allow the entire collection to be exhibited over time.

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 4:00pm except during university holidays.