Museum unveils art library

Lance Walker of the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art in the new reference library.

More than 2,500 books on art, a portion of a huge private collection, have been donated to Sonoma Valley Museum of Art to establish The Stanley Abercrombie and Paul Vieyra Art Library.

The books, all on the subject of art, architecture and design, are available for reference within a private room in the museum.

“We are delighted that these books have found such a suitable home, “ said Abercrombie. “The museum is a real asset to our community, and increasing the learning opportunities there fits so well with our desire for the collection.”

Kate Eilertsen, SVMA Executive Director, said the new library is a phenomenal resource for art lovers, artists and curators who visit the museum. “It is an extraordinarily impressive collection of books,” she said.

The volumes are the first stage of a promised gift of 20,000 volumes from Abercrombie and Vieyra, who are charter members of the museum. Both have served on the museum’s board and advisory committees since it was founded in 1998.

Both are retired architects. Vieyra served as senior designer at Skidmore Owings and Merrill and at Gensler, while Abercrombie was editor in chief of “Interiors” magazine and editorial director of  “Interior Design” magazine. They moved to Sonoma from New York in the mid-1990s.

The Stanley Abercrombie and Paul Vieyra Art Library will be housed in the Pamela and John Story Gallery at the Museum. An entire wall of the room was re-fit with shelving to house the books.

The library is part of an ambitious program of new education and public programs at the museum. A $100,000 contribution from Sonoma Valley resident Calvin R. Vander Woude last summer, combined with substantial member and donor donations to the Museum’s annual Fund-A-Need campaign, have enabled SVMA to convert storage and office space into new classrooms.

According to Lance Walker, the museum’s marketing director, the institution has been steadily increasing educational offerings for all ages as a way for the community to more fully engage with the art and ideas presented in exhibitions.


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