By FHSU University Communications
HAYS, Kan. – Fort Hays State University is pleased to announce a major donation of artwork to the university’s permanent collection. The gift is organized as an academic research collection and includes nearly 200 works by renowned New York-based artists.
The donor, Rosemary Hornak, is a retired Midwestern artist, art collector, and real estate developer. She worked as a studio artist alongside her brother, founding photorealist artist Ian Hornak (1944-2002). Parts of his collection have been the subject of museum exhibitions throughout the country. Over the past 15 years, she has donated hundreds of works by the nation’s leading artists to approximately 50 museums across the United States, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, Dartmouth College and the Washington University.
Rosemary Hornak’s son came to her attention at Fort Hays State after graduating from college in 2021, and she chose FHSU as the beneficiary of this part of her collection. FHSU history instructor Hollie Marquess helped facilitate the donation.
The collection will reside at FHSU’s Schmidt Foundation Center for Art and Design. It includes comprehensive retrospective sub-collections of artwork by Jon Carsman (1944-1987), Ian Hornak (1944-2002) – the donor’s late brother – and Scott Kahn (1946).
Jon Carsman was one of New York’s most successful artists of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, having been credited as one of the artists who helped re-popularize realism in painting after it disappeared during the abstract expressionist movement of the 1950s. Carsman’s works belong to most major museums in the United States, including the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and locally, the Wichita Art Museum, the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University, and the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas.
Ian Hornak was one of the founding artists of the Photorealist movement in the 1960s and later one of the country’s most famous artists. He has been described by The New York Times as “right at the top of the list of today’s romantic descriptive painters”. His works are in the collections of major museums nationwide, including the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and locally the Albrecht Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Mo. His paintings were the subject of Barack Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Exhibition at the Federal Reserve on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2013 and sold for up to $165,000 each.
Scott Kahn is currently one of the most popular artists in the United States. Several of his paintings have recently sold at Christie’s and Phillips auction houses for nearly $1 million each. Kahn’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and many of his pieces are in the collections of major public, corporate, and private collections around the world.
Rosemary Hornak, the donor, said, “I hope this donation will help bring more national attention and respect to the State of Fort Hays, as well as help students, faculty and the community. Hays in their studies, work and personal life. enjoyment.”
She has pledged to make continued donations to the university as she whittles down her collection, including artwork by some of the world’s most renowned artists, including Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell and Robert Rauschenberg.
In addition to Instructor Marquess, the university is grateful to Colin Schmidtberger, director of the Moss-Thorns Gallery, and Schuyler Coates, director of development at the Fort Hays State Foundation, for their invaluable assistance in making this donation possible. .