Access to Art for All


A promised gift of art will accelerate and enhance Colby’s embrace of ‘living with art’ across campus

(Photo by Gabe Souza)
By Bob Keyes
July 11, 2024

The College will celebrate a promised gift of art at the Colby Museum of Art’s Summer Luncheon on July 13 that will create access to museum-quality art across campus to accentuate Colby’s conviction and commitment to the power and practice of “living with art.”

The gift is to enhance and enrich the experience of art for the entire Colby community, and, most importantly, to inspire other collectors to further enhance the campus with the powerful imagination and creativity of the artistic community.

Paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other artworks will be displayed inside academic and administrative buildings and community spaces, with many sculptures installed outdoors. The collection includes important 20th-century paintings and sculptures by Arthur Dove, Beverly Pepper, Juan Gris, Helen Frankenthaler, Oscar Bluemner, Louise Bourgeois, David Hockney, Mark di Suvero, and many others.

A man and woman sitting on a stone bench in the shape of a animal
Rob Radloff and Ann Beha

The gift from the collection of Rob Radloff and Ann Beha, D.F.A. ’24, summer Maine residents, is being made in honor of Barbara and Theodore “Ted” Alfond, as well as Colby President David A. Greene. Avid and generous supporters of the College and numerous other institutions across the region, the Alfonds serve as life members of the Colby Museum Board of Governors.

Greene said the gift dovetails with Colby’s ongoing efforts to elevate the arts across the College and create meaningful opportunities for all members of the community to integrate the arts into their daily lives. “We’re incredibly grateful for this generosity and Rob and Ann’s vision to bring art into the lives of our students, faculty, and staff in unique ways,” Greene said. “Art has the power to connect people and transform communities, and making art accessible is essential for that to happen. We can’t wait for the Summer Luncheon to finally discuss the details.”

The gift was inspired by the donors’ own experience of living with art on a daily basis, and their belief that being exposed to meaningful and inspiring art every day should be part of campus life for the entire Colby community. The collection includes nearly 70 pieces and is continuously evolving.

In addition to the art, which will arrive at Colby over a period of several years, Radloff and Beha are also establishing an endowed collection care fund, matched by Colby, to support cataloging, cleaning, maintaining, displaying, and caring for the collection displayed across campus, and to support student interns who will work with the collection on related activities.

Ann Beha and Rob Radloff

The donors hope their gift will set the foundation for additional gifts from others that could be used for similar purposes, as well as the potential creation of a student art-loan program that would enable students to borrow art for their living space as a way to make the arts an integral and real-world part of the Colby experience. To support this vision, the College and its museum will seek resources to develop this initiative, staff it, and care for a growing campus collection over time.

Announcing this promised gift at the Colby Museum’s Summer Luncheon is apt, said Jacqueline Terrassa, Carolyn Muzzy Director of the Colby College Museum of Art. “The Colby Museum’s mission is to open access to art and artists, creating a forum for experimentation, research, dialogue, and joyful connection,” she said. “The museum seeks to inspire students and many others to value art in their lives, and we do so regularly through our exhibitions, publications, partnerships, and programs. This collection enables the museum, in partnership with the College, to extend its mission inside out.”