A University of Georgia alumnus and his partners in an Atlanta investment advisory firm are donating $250,000 worth of artwork to various museums across the country, including the Madison Museum of Fine Arts in Morgan County.
Peachtree Capital acquired the artwork after purchasing and consolidating about 10 accounting and investment firms, two of which included large collections of contemporary art. Peachtree Capital eventually decided to donate the collections to museums, said Eric Burnette, a partner and chief operating officer with the firm.
“We really thought that would be the best place for it,” Burnette said.
“We had so much that for one, we didn’t have room for it around our office — and a lot of it turned out to be some valuable pieces,” said Burnette, an Athens native and a 2009 graduate of the University of Georgia.
The artwork is going to museums from New York to California, said Brenda de la Cruz, an Atlanta art and design consultant who is authenticating the art and spearheading the donations.
The largest selection of artworks is going to the museum in Madison, she said. Those works include a collection of paintings by Cristina Vergano, an Italian-born artist now living in New York who has also lived in Georgia and Florida.
Vergano’s work is in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, as well as several private and corporate collections. Some of her works are in the private collections of celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg and Madonna, according to de la Cruz.
The Madison Museum of Fine Arts “received almost the entire Vergano collection. It’s a big collection,” de la Cruz said. In addition to Burnette, another UGA alumni, Shelly Eddy, also a partner at Peachtree Capital, assisted with the donations to the museum in Madison, de la Cruz said.
“We are very grateful they selected us,” said Madison Museum of Fine Arts Director Michelle Bechtell. “Donors like Peachtree Capital are the ones who really help us succeed in our mission of being able to provide art history education to children, families and seniors in this part of Georgia,”