Pinehurst speaker donates rare Chagall collection to UNCP library
PEMBROKE – The Special Collections at the Mary Livermore Library at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke now house a unique collection depicting the life and work of Franco-Russian artist Marc Chagall.
The collection contains books, exhibition catalogs, articles, special letters, photos and media donated by Vivian R. Jacobson, resident of Pinehurst and international speaker, author and historian on the artist.
Jacobson worked closely with the famous Jewish artist for the last 11 years of her life when she lived in Chicago. His vision for the Jacobson Chagall Art Research Collection is to share Chagall’s message of hope, peace, reconciliation and love.
“He was a great person who brought people so much happiness through his works,” said Jacobson, who turned 86 in October. “I hope this collection will be seen as a center for research into the life and art of Marc Chagall. I have done research in New York, France, Israel and Germany and have always had this desire to open my research to the public.
The collection represents over 30 years of her research, including her work as a founding member of the American Friends of Chagall’s Museum of the Biblical Message in France, President of the Chagall Tapestry Project in Chicago, and author of “Sharing Chagall: A Memoir” .
She also donated a signed lithograph of “The Ladder of Jacob” which will be hung in the Special Collections.
“Each piece in the collection is very meaningful to me. I love the works of Chagall, but I loved him more as a person, ”said Jacobson.
The 20th-century artist was known for his distinct abstract style of dreamlike figurative and narrative art that explored his Jewish identity and life in Russia.
Jacobson has lectured on Chagall since 1978 and has presented in 22 states, Europe and Israel. She was a Chagall Lecturer for the North Carolina Humanities Council from 2001 to 2019. She lectured at UNCP in 2016 after receiving a special invitation from Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings and his wife, Rebecca. They became close friends after Cummings, a former heart surgeon in Pinehurst, operated on her late husband, Ralph, in 1995. The couple recently established a fellowship at UNCP.
“Contributions such as the Jacobson Chagall Art Research Collection are essential in our mission to promote research at our university,” said Cummings.
“This brings a new perspective to our Special Collections unit, and I appreciate the resources we are able to add for our university community to enjoy and study. I know how much this unique collection represents for Vivian and the time invested by her and Chagall. We are grateful for Vivian and Ralph’s continued support and honored that they thought of UNCP when they sought to donate such a meaningful collection, ”added Cummings.
“Last year Ralph and I discussed what to do with the Chagall collection, and without blinking, Ralph said, ‘Let her go to UNCP.’ Pinehurst is about an hour from Pembroke so it will be easy to visit. The idea of donating the collection to UNCP is certainly one of the best decisions we’ve made, ”said Jacobson.
Jessica Collogan, Dean of Library Science, said making the Chagall Collection available for students to use and connect with their academic studies is a great opportunity to expand the unique research collections within from the Mary Livermore Library.
“Our special collections are made available to the public for online research through digitization, finding aids and the special collections website. I hope to expand the knowledge of these unique items through accessibility for all, as the collections expand in the future, ”added Collogan.
An official opening is scheduled for fall 2022. The Jacobson Chagall Art Research Collection can be accessed online here.
Mark Locklear is the public communications specialist for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He can be contacted at [email protected]