The Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History has recently been the benefactor of a bequest from the Estate of Maud Gatewood (1934 – 2004).
Maud Florance Gatewood is considered by art historians, curators, museum directors, and collectors as one of the most important painters in North Carolina history. She grew up in Caswell County, North Carolina, just across the Virginia State line. She earned her B.A. in fine arts in 1954 form the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and completed an M.A. in painting at Ohio State University. Later in her career, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Salzburg, Austria. She exhibited widely in the southeastern United States throughout her career and won numerous awards for her work. Her life and work was chronicled in an hour-long documentary, Gatewood: Facing the Canvas, which was produced by UNC-TV. The Weatherspoon Art Gallery of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro held a Gatewood retrospective exhibition in 1994 that covered 40 years of her painting. The exhibition later traveled to five museums throughout the South. Gatewood was honored by UNCG with an honorary doctorate in fine arts in 1999.
The Danville Museum is most pleased to have been able to select five works on canvas and ten works on paper. The Museum chose works that comprise a general survey of Gatewood’s work, from her early period through the 1990’s. Included as one work on paper, is Gatewood’s portfolio when she was a high school student and studied with Carson Davenport at Averett College. These forty-some drawings and watercolors show her early talent in art and the influence of Carson Davenport. Once again, this is a marvelous fit with the holdings of the Museum, which counts more than forty works by Carson Davenport in its American Modern Art Collection.
Among other museums that have received work from the Gatewood estate are the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Mint Museum, the Weatherspoon Gallery at UNCG, and Reynolda House.