Permanent Collection


Permanent Collection

The William Paterson University Galleries oversees a collection of about 3,500 objects, including approximately 150 paintings, 350 photographs, 1,750 negatives, 50 sculptures, 225 works on paper, 400 artists’ books, 550 ethnographic objects (primarily African and Oceanic), and 25 decorative arts objects. The collection originated with the founding of the institution, established in 1855 as a teacher’s college in the city of Paterson, NJ. Between 1959-1968, the University received the S. Paul and Jeanne Boochever Art Collection, which includes significant nineteenth century paintings by artists Willard Leroy Metcalf and Edwin Lord Weeks. Since the 1990s, the University Galleries has overseen a permanent campus installation of large-scale and primarily post-minimalist outdoor sculpture. In 1998, the University acquired the Joan and Gordon Tobias Collection of African and Oceanic Art including 550 ethnographic objects. The University Galleries also encompasses a growing collection of artists’ books, which currently includes over 400 one-of-a-kind or limited-edition books created by local and internationally renowned artists from 1960 to the present. Another area of focus is contemporary works on paper, which were acquired from the Galleries’ recurring juried printmaking and book art exhibition. A recent donation from renowned New Jersey photographer George Tice consists of nearly 300 photographs and over 1,700 negatives by Artie Van Blarcum, who was active in New Jersey camera clubs in the 1960s. On the whole, the collection reflects diverse cultural perspectives and serves as a valuable tool for broadening and deepening cultural awareness and understanding for the William Paterson University community and the public.

Our Collections 

Tobias Collection | Artists' Books | Sculpture on Campus | Hobart Manor

Online Collection

The online collection includes further information about our diverse holdings. In 2014, the University Galleries’ began digitizing the collection with a grant from the WP Alumni Foundation. Over the past several years, the collection has grown significantly through recent acquisitions. In celebration of the University Galleries’ 40th anniversary, we are pleased to make aspects of the collection accessible online.

The University Galleries welcomes and encourages research requests to make use of our permanent collection. To request an image or schedule an appointment to view objects from our collection, please contact Collections Manager Casey Mathern at or (973) 720-3283.

View the Online Collection