Eighteen pieces of artwork by renowned Fort Worth artist Bror Utter were recently donated to the College of Fine Arts.
The artworks, predominately watercolor works and oil paintings, were donated to the school by Faye Rathgeber Willis, a lifelong resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
According to an e-mail from Mark Thistlethwaite, chair of the art history department, Willis’ family’s long association with the university and Bror Utter’s importance as a Fort Worth artist influenced her desire to donate the works.
Devon Nowlin, the gallery manager at the college of fine arts, said the pieces will be refurbished and documented by art history interns to prepare them for gallery-quality presentation. She said the art will be showcased in the gallery sometime within the next year.
Scott Sullivan, dean of the College of Fine Arts, also said the artwork should be part of an exhibit in 2013. He said that with gifts of this size, there are a number of considerations related to storage.
“When you accept gifts, you have an obligation to keep them, preserve them and protect them,” he said. “It’s difficult for us to store them. We don’t have a limitless storage facility with temperature control.”
Sullivan said the school decided to accept the Bror Utter paintings because of Utter’s influence as a Fort Worth painter.
A 50-year retrospective exhibit of Utter's art was held at the university in 1985. His works were also included in the 2005 exhibit “Celebrating Early Texas Art: Treasures from Dallas-Fort Worth Private Collections, 1900-1960,” curated by Thistlethwaite.