MAC Provides Funding to Enhance Art Collections through Dille Fund

JACKSON, MISS. – November 22, 2017 – Through a new special initiative, the Dille Fund for Art Acquisition, the Mississippi Arts Commission has awarded a total of $125,800 in funding to organizations across the state to enhance visual art collections.

The Dille Fund for Art Acquisition is a program created as the result of a bequest from Avery B. Dille Jr., who bequeathed funds to the Mississippi Arts Commission to be used for the acquisition of landscapes and seascapes. This fall, for the first time, MAC developed a special initiative to make these funds available to organizations. The intention of the initiative is to enhance collections at Mississippi museums, arts organizations and cultural institutions and to support public engagement with high quality art, lifelong learning in the arts and the strengthening of communities through arts engagement. Organizations submitted applications to MAC to be considered for funding.

Funds were awarded to the following six organizations:

  • Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, for the purchase of Laurel by Joe Overstreet
  • Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, for the purchase of Landscape with Four Trees by Edward Mitchell Bannister
  • University of Mississippi Foundation | Friends of the Museum, Oxford, for the purchase of Meditations on the Origins of Agriculture in America by William Dunlap
  • Lincoln Lawrence Franklin Regional Library, Brookhaven, for the purchase of Farm Road by Dean Mitchell and Out Island Sloops by Stephen Scott Young
  • Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, for the purchase of Osprery Nest by Walter Anderson
  • Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood, for the purchase of Flat Out Down Wind by William Dunlap

“Congratulations to the organizations that will be able to purchase high quality visual art through the Dille Fund,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “The Mississippi Arts Commission made a wise investment years ago with its partner, the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, to grow this bequest to a sustainable level. We plan to offer this grant annually to support the continued acquisition of artwork that will be made available to the public through funded organizations.”

Grant applications were reviewed by a group of panelists with artistic, managerial, educational and peer expertise. MAC’s Board of Commissioners reviewed the panelists’ recommendations before making final funding decisions.

“It is most exciting that through the generosity of Avery B. Dille Jr. that we have been able to assist in adding such significant pieces of art to the permanent collections of six museums throughout our state,” said Steve Edds, MAC board chairman. “In each case, we challenged the receiving organization to match our grant. Our congratulations to each of them in their fundraising efforts. The Dille matching grant program will continue over the years to allow outstanding art to be acquired by our institutions – art that might not otherwise be available to these institutions.”

For more information on MAC’s grants programs and other services, visit the agency’s website at

Contact:  Anna Ehrgott | Communications Director | | (601) 359-6546