BYU-Idaho owns an array of art pieces by a variety of artists that many do not know about.
The BYU-I permanent collection includes close to 2,000 pieces of art, ranging in mediums of sculpture, print, painting
On the second floor of the Jacob Spori Building, there is a collection of screen prints depicting Marilyn Monroe in various color schemes.
The screens that these prints were made from were originally created by artist Andy Warhol. These prints were not actually printed by Warhol. He gave the screens to an artist named Sunday B. Morning, who printed 250 unauthorized prints from the original screens.
“Andy Warhol sent the screen prints to Sunday B. Morning, but then he decided that he didn’t want them to be printed and refused authorization. But Sunday B. Morning actually ended printing them anyway. Sunday B. morning used similar colors as the original prints and made the actual prints, but the screens were Andy Warhol’s work,” said Erin Quinton, BYU-I alumna and gallery and collections manager.
The prints in the university’s collection are from those 250 unauthorized prints. Quinton pointed out that the prints are still of great value, but not worth as much as the prints done by Warhol himself.
Similar to the Monroe prints, the university owns two Rembrandt prints, which were also probably not printed by the artist. Rembrandt was a painter and print maker in the 16th century. Because his prints were made from metal plates, the plates lasted long after his death, and additional prints were made from the original plates.
“We know they are made from the original plates, but we are unsure if Rembrandt actually printed them,” Quinton said. “It was so long ago, and the prints traveled around so much that it is really hard for us to know whether they were printed by Rembrandt or not. But BYU has very similar prints that were printed after his death, so we think that these prints are as well.”
A portrait by artist George Romney is also in the permanent collection. This painting hangs in the George S. Romney Building, although the artist is not the namesake of the building.
Another famous painting in the BYU-I collection is a Henri Matisse painting of a woman in red.
Excluding the paintings in the BYU-Idaho Center, a majority of the art on campus is an original work of art, and not a copy.