George Segal Gallery Becomes Permanent Home of Art Gift for Art Collection

Montclair State is now home to a collection of more than 200 works of art by New Jersey artists Ben and Evelyn Wilson. The multi-million dollar gift by their daughter Joanne Wilson Jaffe includes drawings, collages, sculptures and paintings and is the largest art gift ever made to the University.
“Art from the Ben and Evelyn Wilson estate is an impressive addition to Montclair State’s significant collection of contemporary American art,” says President Susan A. Cole. “With this remarkable gift, Joanne Wilson Jaffe has recognized the University’s deep, ongoing commitment to the arts.”
While working with her parents’ estate, Jaffe began looking for a permanent home for the Ben and Evelyn Wilson collection and she appreciated Montclair State’s dedication to the visual arts.
A critically acclaimed abstract expressionist painter, Ben Wilson had the first of numerous one-man shows in 1946. Evelyn was a noted sculptor, as well as a cosmetics executive. Their work is part of numerous collections, including those at MIT, Brandeis, Princeton and Rutgers universities, as well as the New Jersey State Museum and the Newark Museum of Art.
Jaffe is also selling her parents’ Blairstown, N.J., home and the proceeds will establish an endowment to promote, preserve and steward the collection. “My parents felt strongly about having their work available to the public,” says Jaffe. “Montclair State is the perfect home for the collection.”