UC Davis is becoming the place to see the work of American painter Wayne Thiebaud, who donated four more of his works to the school's new museum earlier this week.
Thiebaud, a 95-year-old artist who is best known for his brightly-colored paintings of California landscapes and delicious-looking food, has been the biggest contributor of works to the university's Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, donating a total of 72 of his own pieces and 300 works from other artists to its collection.
The $30-million Manetti Shrem Museum is expected to open this November and has been described as a celebration of the school's 60-year-old art department, where Thiebaud taught for over 40 years before retiring in 1991, though he continued to teach until 2009.
Thiebaud's announced the donations Monday, telling a crowd of reporters and university officials that the school was a great research institution, which also made it a great place to create art as it allowed for him to experiment.
“I didn’t have to concern myself with whether the paintings would sell or whether they would be useful or not,” he said.
Among the paintings Thiebaud donated this week was “The Unfinished Portrait of Betty Jean,” which features his second wife, filmmaker Betty Jean Carr, who died in December of last year. The painting had never been shown in public before.
Watch a short video from UC Davis about Thiebaud's donation below: