The University of North Florida has accepted a generous donation of artwork as well as an outright gift to support the preservation, care and curation of the UNF Permanent Collection from alumna Judy Eisen.
The 20 pieces of artwork will be on display along with other pieces previously donated by Eisen and her late husband in the exhibition, “A Grand and Generous Gift: The Saul and Judy Eisen Collection.” The exhibit will run through Thursday, Feb. 14, in the UNF Gallery of Art, Founders Hall, Building 2, Room 1001.
The donation included a variety of contemporary prints, oil paintings, photographs, drawings from the early 1900s and sculpture. Special features of the current exhibition include Louise Nevelson’s “Moon Passage,” Pat Steir’s “Waterfall 1988,” photographs by Jerry Uelsmann as well as Yaacov Agam’s serigraph print “Cycle.”
The Eisens began donating prints and paintings to the Department of Art and Design to be used for educational purposes in 2010. They were inspired to cultivate both the creative and scholarly impulses of UNF students and faculty.
Eisen’s involvement with UNF started in early 1970 when her husband, Dr. Saul Eisen, was asked to be on a committee that would eventually form the University. During that time, Eisen worked part time for UNF, helping to write and edit the first course catalog.
Students have felt Eisen’s impact the most through her support of the UNF Department of Art and Design in the form of guest lectures, print and painting donations, scholarship support and new opportunities through the Eisen Experiential Learning Endowment. As a long serving member of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, Eisen provided guidance, supported students and volunteered her time to help UNF thrive.
“Giving back to the University isn’t all about a desire to be philanthropic,” Eisen said. “I get a thrill and become inspired by interacting with these students because they are so fabulous and passionate about their studies. When it comes to art students, they’re not going to school because they want to be bond traders. They’re committed to their art, and I love being in the presence of their creative energy.”
Eisen also served on the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville Board of Trustees and was a passionate advocate for the collaboration between the UNF College of Arts and Sciences and MOCA Jacksonville. Throughout her time on MOCA’s Board of Trustees, Eisen was a steadfast partner in supporting the museum with her time, energy, ideas and generosity. Her critical thinking and desire to go above and beyond expectations to challenge standards, reach goals and thrive has been crucial to MOCA’s continued development.
Eisen was awarded the 2018 UNF Alumni Association’s Alumni Service Award which recognizes alumni who have demonstrated continuous outstanding volunteer service to the University and meritorious public service on a local, state, national or international level. She received her Master of Arts in counseling psychology from UNF in 1978.