Born to great wealth, Joseph McCrindle (1923–2008) devoted his life to philanthropy and to his passion for literature and art. His interest in education led him to endow scholarships at numerous schools and colleges, including Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Active as a literary agent, he founded and edited the Transatlantic Review (1959-1977), a quarterly that showcased emerging writers and artists. His energy for collecting art from early in life was matched only by his later generosity in distributing it.
In the last years of his life, McCrindle donated or bequeathed thousands of works of art to large and small institutions across America, including five museums in North Carolina. Through McCrindle and the foundation he established, the Ackland Art Museum received 18 paintings, 70 drawings, and his entire collection of more than 350 prints. An Eye for the Unexpected presents more than 120 works selected from this gift, supplemented by paintings and drawings from McCrindle gifts to the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC-Greensboro, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte.
Gifts of Joseph F. McCrindle, Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
Bernard Boutet de Monvel, French, 1881-1949: Joseph McCrindle as a Boy, c. 1930; oil on canvas, 2010.4.9.
Lodovico Carracci, Italian, 1555-1619: Male Nude, n.d.; red chalk, 2010.4.12.
Robert Pohill Bevan, British, 1865-1925: The Homestead, c. 1910-14; oil on canvas, 2010.4.6.