When 36 signed art prints showed up at their new home in Crawfordsville last year, Marie and Tom Stocks ’73 weren’t sure exactly what they had, or what do with them.
A small distribution from the 50,000 piece Nahan Collection—which the Stocks and their business partners bought in 2009 as a financial investment—the newly arrived prints were clearly more valuable than the couple had expected.
“I was thinking that our sampling would be from the poster-quality works in the collection,” Tom Stocks told a gathering in Wabash’s Eric Dean Gallery January 18 at the opening reception for the Art Department’s latest exhibit, Works on Paper. “But there we were, suddenly staring at 36 signed and numbered prints.”
Soon after the prints arrived, Tom came across a story on the Wabash Web site about the dedication of Joanne and Gary Reamey’s gift of artwork to the College—prints form Mauricio Lasansky’s “The Kaddish Series.” The Reameys had donated the gift in memory of Gary's mother.
“I mentioned this to Marie,’ Tom recalled. “We decided to look into gifting the prints to the College in memory of our two deceased brothers, Dr. Peter Green and Timothy Stocks.”
Marie Stocks’ brother, Peter Green enrolled in the graphic arts program at the Rocky Mountain School of Art before receiving his bachelor of science degree in physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Ph.D in experimental nuclear physics at Florida State University at Tallahassee. While teaching physics and science in Florida and the American University in Egypt, he continued to pursue his passion for art, creating large magnetic and acrylic paintings and founding Sci-Art Studios, a web-based venue to share his work with others.
Tom Stocks’ brother, Tim Stocks attended Coe College, was an accountant, and performed volunteer work for his church. He was a life master at contract bridge, an accomplished pianist, loved to dance, and enjoyed cruises. He once spent a year at sea.
“Peter and Tim would have taken great delight in this collection,” Tom explained. “So we picked out five to keep, and I got in touch with the College about the rest.”
The 31 prints are from the estate of the Ken Nahan, who earned a distinguished reputation from 1960 to 1995 as a publisher of fine limited-edition prints, running successful galleries in New York, New Orleans, and Tokyo. Nahan insisted upon producing unique handmade papers. He would then personally supervise the painstaking printing process. Each strictly limited edition could take up to six months to complete.
Included in the collection and now hanging in the College’s Gregory Huebner Gallery are prints by the Zhou brothers, the first artists permitted by the Chinese government to publicly display abstract art. Their imagery reflects the profound influence of China's prehistoric cave paintings, and they have won awards both within China and across the globe.
“The Stocks' gift to the Permanent Collection of Contemporary Art serves several important functions for the College and the Art Department,” Professor of Art and Department Chair Doug Calisch explained. “The prints are done in a variety of techniques and include great examples of magic realism, surrealism, abstraction, fantasy, and narrative.”
“This gift will be added to our collection, where students and faculty will have access to these works for purpose of instruction by example and as visual sources for research. In addition, the works will rotate in and out of display for the campus to contemplate.
“Tom and Marie Stocks graciously gave these works (and had them framed) to be included as a teaching tool for both studio and art history classes. We will make good use of this generous gift.”
The addition of the Nahan prints to the Wabash collection was celebrated at the opening of Works on Paper: Drawings, Prints, and Photographs from the Permanent Collection, which showcases the artistic vision of numerous contemporary artists, as well as a few well-known masters, including Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. The exhibit continues through February 27.