Glynis Board Published

WVU Gifted Social Justice-Inspired Art


50 years ago this month, in March of 1965, armed policemen attacked peaceful civil rights demonstrators attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The incident became known as Bloody Sunday. 17 marchers were hospitalized and 50 more were treated for injuries.

An African American artist, Jacob Lawrence, depicted a scene on the bridge. That work of art is among the pieces being gifted to West Virginia University’s new art museum in Morgantown.

WVU alumnus Harvey Peyton and his wife Jennifer will present “Confrontation at the Bridge” at a public event this week in the university’s new art museum. The museum’s director Joyce Ice said that “the Peytons have given a number of works of art to the Museum that speak to issues of social and racial injustice,” and that this work of art in particular contributes to the ongoing national dialog on race and police brutality.

Harvey Peyton says he’s dedicated collecting art to the idea that visual art and the concept of social justice should go hand in hand. The Peyton’s also donated a dozen works of art from their personal collection in 2013, along with a financial gift of $75,000 for the new Art Museum.

Currently, the new building in Morgantown is in the process of being completed. The ceremony is set for 2p.m., Thursday, March 26th.