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Charles Rand Penney papers, 1923-1994, bulk 1945-1994

Biographical Note

Charles Rand Penney (1923-2010) was an art collector from Buffalo, New York. He was well known for his collection of art by Western New York artists, but also collected art from Europe, Africa, Oceania, and other regions of the United States. His travels contributed to the eclectic mix of paintings, drawings, sculptures, hooked rugs, quilts, and tribal art found within his art collection.
Penney cited receiving the watercolor Warrior in 1933 from Western New York artist Bob Blair as the beginning of his life as an art collector. Years later, Penney served in World War II, attended law school, and began practicing law in the 1950s. His collections grew quickly during the late 1950s through 1970s. Penney collected over 100,000 works of art during his lifetime, much of it guided by dealers James and Merle Goodman.
In 1963, Penney began donating artwork to the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York. In total, approximately 400 works of art were donated to the gallery including Big Diamond by David Smith and Beverly Pepper's Vertical Ventaglio (1967-1968). Penney also donated over 1000 works of art to the Burchfield Art Center in Buffalo, New York.