Griest family donates rare book collection to USF

November 6, 2019

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Saint Francis is pleased to announce alumna Patricia Griest has donated more than 250 rare books to the university, with a selection of highlights of the collection to be on public display.

Griest and her late husband Walter D. Griest, M.D. amassed the collection over four decades. It includes books published by the Limited Editions Club and its predecessor, the Heritage Club. They are limited press books using archival papers, letterpress and fine embellished bindings. The texts include a variety of subjects: visual art, poetry, classic literature, history and politics.

The collection also includes books with bound prints that illustrate the narratives of the texts by numerous historic artists, including Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Ryman, Sean Scully, Jacob Lawrence, Leonard Baskin, Francesco Clemente, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elizabeth Catlett and others. The collection will be a unique source of programming at USF.

“Books are voices of the ages, recreating in minds today the thoughts and dreams of minds long departed,” Griest said.

Griest, who established the First Presbyterian Gallery in 1969 and served as its gallery director and coordinator for 50 years, earned a Master of Education degree from Saint Francis College in 1972 with a concentration in art. The USF School of Creative Arts presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her service to the local arts community.

The Walter D. Griest, M.D. and Patricia Griest Family Collection of Rare Books exhibit will run Dec. 7 through Jan. 10 in the Goldfish Gallery in the Mimi and Ian Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center off Leesburg Road on the southeast side of campus, 2701 Spring St.

An opening reception will be 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 in the Goldfish Gallery. Goldfish Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The gallery will be closed during Christmas break from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1.

For more information on the collection, contact the School of Creative Arts at 260-399-8064.

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis campus experience includes 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships and is recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.