Buffalo, NY - Charles Rand Penney, the Lockport art collector who helped form the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College, died Sunday night in DeGraff Memorial Hospital from heart failure. He was 87 years old.
Penney's passion for Jackson Pollock paintings and Mr. Peanut paraphernalia earned him a reputation as the region's most eccentric and highly sought-after art collector.
Penney began collecting art by Western New Yorkers in the mid-30's, eventually collecting more than 100,000 objects that he kept and researched in his own home.
In honor of Penney's series of collections donated to the gallery in the early to mid-90's, then-director Anthony Bannon successfully campaigned to rename the institution in Penney's honor. He recently donated items from his collection to the Buffalo Museum of Science, San Francisco's DeYoung Museum, Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery and the South Australian Museum.