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Valley collectors David and Sara Lieberman make major donation to ASU’s Ceramics Research Center

April 26, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. – ASU Art Museum’s newly launched Ceramics Research Center will reach international importance with the promised gift of a major Valley collection of ceramics and a substantial, immediate cash donation.

David and Sara Lieberman, noted art collectors with a large and important ceramics collection, have promised their approximately 200 ceramic works to the Ceramics Research Center. The Lieberman collection had been sought by a number of museums, but they chose to donate it to the ASU Art Museum. They have also made an immediate monetary donation toward operating costs at the new center.

“Sara and David Lieberman’s gift to the Ceramics Research Center and to ASU marks the perfect way for very significant collectors and a very significant university museum to work together to build an even more significant future,” President Lattie Coor said, announcing the gift.

J. Robert Wills, Dean of the Herberger College of Fine Arts, recognized the long-term importance of the gift.

“This is a two-part gift that not only helps us build momentum at the beginning of the center, but also helps guarantee its long-term excellence. We owe them special thanks,” Wills said.

Museum senior curator Heather Lineberry described the Lieberman’s ceramics collection as “a who’s who of contemporary ceramics on an international scale.” She said it both complimented and expanded the museum’s collection, including the significant addition of numerous works by contemporary Native America artists. The ASU Art Museum collection specializes in contemporary and 20th century British and American ceramics, and is one of the best in the country.

The Liebermans have long been major supporters of the ASU Art Museum and more recently the new Ceramics Research Center. Sara Lieberman is chair of the Ceramics Research Center’s community support group, Ceramic Leaders of ASU (CL_) and chaired the grand opening weekend of events for the center in March.

Both Sara and David are recognized benefactors of multiple valley art and community organizations. Sara has a 10-year history of volunteering and supporting the ASU Art Museum, having started as a community docent and now holding a place on the museum’s board. David was recently recognized for his nearly 10 years as a volunteer in inner city elementary schools, during which he has encouraged and inspired many children. He also established a number of trusts to assist at-risk children in gaining an education.

ASU Art Museum Director, Marilyn Zeitlin, recognized the Liebermans’ support for the ASU Art Museum.

“The generosity of the Liebermans demonstrates a commitment to art that comes straight from the heart. These are passionate people. They don’t just make judgments, they adopt works of art and make them part of their own lives,” Zeitlin said. “We are honored in the deepest way by their having decided that we, too, are ‘family,’ and appropriate and qualified to carry on the very personal connection with works of art that they themselves typify.”

The ASU Art Museum and its Ceramics Research Center are part of The Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts at ASU. 

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle