The first 30 years
The collection began in 1982 to help celebrate the 100th
anniversary of Findlay College. Each academic division was given $2,000
to create a special event for the year. For the division of Teacher Education, Dr. Jerry Mallett proposed starting a collection of
children’s book artwork and bringing in an internationally recognized
children’s illustrator/author to speak.
“I thought it would be nice to have something, not just for that
year, but something permanent that would benefit the institution, the
community and our majors on a permanent basis, “ Mallett said.
Expenses for the dedication of the collection quickly exceeded the initial $2,000 Mallett recalled.
“We needed more money, and we went to two of our alumni who have
been very supportive of past cultural events, August (’41) and the late
Aleda (Pfost ’41) Mazza. Through their farsightedness and generosity,
we were able to establish the Mazza Collection,” he said.
Four pieces valued at $1,700 comprised the original collection.
Mallett’s goal, as stated at the dedication, was to add one
new piece a year. From the initial donation of the Mazzas for the first
four works of art, the Mazza Museum has grown to more than 7,800
“However, size is not the primary aspect,” Mallett claimed. “Of
more importance are the activities we are developing with the
educational programs and the consequent involvement of adults and
children in our collection.”
THE NEXT CHAPTER...
In the ensuing years of its existence, the number of pictures in
the gallery has increased to more than 7,700. In 1994, the Mazza Museum
was moved to its permanent home in the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts
It soon became apparent that the art and the corresponding
educational activities needed additional space. Therefore, a building
addition campaign was begun in the fall of 2003. Two years later (2005)
our campaign exceeded its goal of $2,200,000 by over $200,000. Ground
breaking began in the spring of 2006 and the dedication of the building
addition was held in 2007, the 25th anniversary of our Mazza Museum.
This phenomenal growth of the Mazza Museum is the result of the
generosity of the community and, specifically, to the continuing,
enthusiastic efforts of so many people.
The artists included in the Mazza Museum were selected because of
the high quality of picture books they have written and/or illustrated.
Many of these artists have won honors including the Caldecott Medal,
the Newbery Medal, The Golden Kite Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal and,
of course, the Mazza Medallion. Their artwork represents much diversity
in art styles including realistic, impressionistic, expressionistic,
cartoon, surrealistic, and folk art. A wide range of media is also
represented through these artists. Media such as paints, collage,
photography, paper-cut, plasticine, cross-stitching, and numerous
graphic techniques, such as wood cut, lino cut, etching, wood engraving,
potato print, and collagraph, were all expertly used to blend with the
total formats of their picture books.