201706 Gordon & Wenonah Fay Holl: Collecting a Legacy

201706 Gordon & Wenonah Fay Holl: Collecting a Legacy

June 9, 2017

Gordon and Wenonah Fay Holl’s collection of fine and decorative arts began without intent. The two simply purchased a piece they both liked and went from there. At the heart of their eclectic collection is a significant body of work created by two of their closest friends, well-known Arkansas artists Louis and Elsie Freund. The Holl’s collection evolved organically from their first acquisition in the 1940s, and contains works by William E. Davis, Sheila Parsons, Jorge and Maria Villegas, Henri Linton, and Paul Faris, among many others. Upon Wenonah Fay’s death in 2011, hundreds of objects, the results of a lifetime collecting, were donated to Historic Arkansas Museum, where they help tell the story of art in Arkansas.

True patrons of the arts, Gordon and Wenonah Fay Holl gave Arkansas artists more than money; the Holls offered themselves as volunteers, advocates, and friends. Gordon and Wenonah Fay were actively involved in the Arkansas arts community and could be seen at openings and events around the state. Though they lived modestly, Gordon and Wenonah Fay Holl epitomized turn-of-the-century American sophistication in their actions and life philosophy. According to El Dorado artist Jorge Villegas, the Holls "helped you discover the artist alive in you, and nurtured it." Public servants at heart, they hoped to share with others the richness and vitality they found through their experiences with fine arts, dance, music, and theater.

Gordon & Wenonah Fay Holl: Collecting a Legacy continues in the Horace C. Cabe Gallery through February 4, 2018.

Image: Square Dance by Elsie Freund, c. 1950. Natural and Cultural Resources Council Grant Purchase.

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Gordon & Wenonah Fay Holl: Collecting a Legacy