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Monique McRipley Ollie and Ronald Maurice Ollie

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 4, 2019—The Saint Louis Art Museum today announced that researchers now can access archival material related to the Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection, a transformative 2017 gift of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculpture by contemporary, African-American artists.

The gift by New Jersey-based collector Ronald Maurice Ollie and his wife Monique McRipley Ollie adds significant depth and breadth to the museum’s holdings. In addition to 81 works of art, the gift included an extensive collection of related resources—including a library of relevant books and an archive of ephemera and other research materials—that will support the study of the collection and provide a basis for future scholarship and instructional programming.

The collection is named in honor of Ronald Ollie’s parents, Thelma and Bert Ollie, who were frequent visitors to the Saint Louis Art Museum and instilled in him and his siblings a deep appreciation of art.

Spanning more than 50 years, the materials have an international scope, with an emphasis on themes such as abstraction, innovation, diaspora, collaboration and education. Group exhibitions feature prominently, as do materials generated by important galleries in Detroit and New York. The collection includes articles, gallery ephemera, documentaries, resumes, bibliographies, press kits and exhibition brochures.

Materials associated with the Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection are an important resource for researchers interested in American abstraction, art education and mentoring, artists’ self-stated aims, exhibitions and gallery representation. The files also provide context for collection, including information about Ronald Ollie’s collecting practices and his relationships with artists, gallerists and curators.

A full inventory of archival material associated with the Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection is available online, and the public can view the material at the museum’s Richardson Memorial Library. Use of materials is subject to restrictions, and researchers should make appointments in advance of their visit.

About the Saint Louis Art Museum Archives

The Saint Louis Art Museum Archives was established in 1976. Located in the museum’s Richardson Memorial Library, it is the primary center for housing the museum’s historical records. Materials date from the 1880s to the present, and cover such topics as the 1904 World’s Fair, construction of the museum campus, exhibitions, educational programming, administrative and financial oversight and collections care.

The Archives houses a small number of collections that were created outside of the museum. These include records associated with gallerists, art collectors, artists and scholars whose work intersected with museum collections, personnel or administration.

CONTACT: Matthew Hathaway, 314.655.5493, matthew.hathaway@slam.org

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