Permanent Collection

Permanent Collection

Permanent Collection at Rowan University

The Sylvia Sleigh Collection 

The Sylvia Sleigh Collection is comprised of nearly one hundred paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs by women artists. It was amassed by Sylvia Sleigh (1916–2010), a pioneering feminist and tireless supporter of women artists. She became well-known in the 1970s for her paintings of nude men. She unashamedly reveled in the beauty of the human body while challenging the tradition in which male artists depicted anonymous, idealized, and often eroticized female models. Sleigh was among the founding members of SOHO 20 Gallery (est. 1973), an important women’s cooperative. She subsequently joined A.I.R. Gallery (est. 1972), the first artist-run exhibition space for women in the United States.

It was Sylvia Sleigh’s intention to donate her collection to an institution that would preserve the work and make it accessible through periodic exhibitions. She acquired the works of other women as a way of supporting them and honoring their achievements, regardless of whether they were critically acclaimed or financially successful. With the Sylvia Sleigh Collection as its foundation, the permanent collection of The Galleries at Rowan University will be supplemented in the same spirit, with particular emphasis on the works of women who were active in the pivotal period of the 1970s and 1980s.

Catalog of the Sylvia Sleigh Collection


The Sister Chapel

The Sister Chapel, a historic collaborative installation created at the height of the women’s art movement, opened in 2016 at Gallery West for its first public exhibition since 1980. With the exception of two paintings that comprise The Sister Chapel, all of the works featured in the installation are part of the permanent collection of Rowan University. 

Sister Chapel Block

The Sister Chapel Exhibition Catalog


Contact Information 

Contact Dr. Andrew Hottle or gallery director, Mary Salvante with questions regarding Rowan University's permanent collection.

Dr. Andrew Hottle
Professor of Art History

Mary Salvante
Director & Chief Curator, Rowan University Art Gallery