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Sept. 26, 2013 Volume 35, No. 6

University museum receives art gifts from Landrum trust

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Brenda Bingham, Landrum’s sister, spoke at the museum about the Landrum trust. To her right are glass works by artist Dale Chihuly, donated in 2009 through the trust to MU along with other pieces. Photo by Rob Hill.

The late Mark Landrum amassed an eclectic private art collection over decades that his trust has distributed

A ceremony was held Tuesday at the Museum of Art and Archaeology to celebrate acquisition of five art pieces from the Marquis Carl Landrum Trust, comprised of the art collection of Mark Landrum.

Landrum, a Columbia resident from a banking family who founded Landmark Bank, died in 2012. His sister, co-trustee Brenda Bingham, attended the gift announcement at the Pickard Hall museum, along with museum director Alex Barker and representatives of Landmark Bank, which has 41 locations in three states. Since 1994 until his death, Landrum was Landmark’s majority owner.  

Over decades, the banking mogul collected hundreds of works by Midwest and Italian artists, antiquities and ethnographic artifacts, and contemporary ceramics. 

“He loved his books, his music and his art,” Bingham said.

He was also a philanthropist, giving many artworks to universities during his life. In 2009, Landrum gave MU 30 art pieces, Barker said.

After his death, Landrum wanted his remaining collection distributed to some of his favorite universities in communities served by his banks; to his alma mater, Yale; and to the University of Oklahoma, where Landrum’s close friend, David Boren, is president. MU, alma mater of Landrum’s father, Carl, received the final five pieces of Landrum’s collection, coming from the family home in Santa Barbara, Calif. 

The pieces are:

• An English Refectory Table. The table is from the 17th or 18th century and bears the wear of 200 years of use, which gives it an artistic quality. “It has acquired a patina of service and the gentle curve of the long boards tells a tale of food-laden platters and heavy jugs of wine,” Deborah Thompson, a partner at Thompson Fine Art Services, said in an interview; the Harrisburg, Mo., firm was an art consultant to Landrum.

• Three ceramic pieces by Jun Kaneko, a Japanese artist living in Omaha, Neb. The pieces are titled 6’ Dango (2004), Egyptian King (1998) and Egyptian Queen (1998). 

• The marble sculpture Lounge  (2001) by Richard Deutsch, a California artist. Deutsch is known for his abstract sculptures that, through scale and form, suggest an interrelationship with the viewer. 

With the art and archaeology museum  beginning its move to Mizzou North on Sept. 30, it is not known when the pieces will be publicly displayed, Barker said.

Landrum’s collection was eclectic, Thompson said. 

“Unlike many collectors,” she said, “he did not limit himself to a single category, movement or culture but prized works of complexity that were laden with meaning and objects that were simply beautiful in line, form and color.”

Bingham said the collection was an extension of Landrum’s world travels, taste for clean lines and minimal decoration, and interest in history and certain artists.

His displaying art at some of Landmark Banks, including those in Columbia, was a way of giving back. “He wanted to expose people in rural America to fine art,” Bingham said.

But now the Landrum trust collection is no more, scattered across America to a handful of teaching university museums so students and others can enjoy and learn more about art, history and culture. 

“Giving things away is always a pleasure and lots of fun,” Bingham said.