Iconic Works on Paper

The Schuster Program for the Arts and the Schuster Gallery at Gannon presented these works during the show, “Iconic Works on Paper: A Selection from the Gerald and Suzanne Marterer Collection,” at the Schuster Gallery this October.

Gerald “Jerry” Marterer ’76M and his wife, Suzanne, own an impressive collection of art by iconic artists like Salvador Dali, Edvard Munch and Marc Chagall, among others of the mid-century modern school. Fifteen of these works were shown at the Schuster Gallery, including print gravures, etchings and watercolors primarily from the 1950s.

The nine-day show gave more than 300 attendees the unique opportunity to view prominent artwork and to engage in conversations with Marterer about his experiences and expertise in the arts.

Paper Exhibit

Gannon and Erie community members view iconic works of art at the Schuster Gallery.

“It was exciting to see this acclaimed art collector connect with students, the Gannon community, and local and regional community members,” said Lori Steadman, director of the Schuster Gallery. “It’s not every day that a local university or gallery has access to this caliber of visual work.”

Marterer also presented a lecture, “Impressionism in Paris,” in the boardroom of Old Main at Gannon, which was attended by nearly 100 faculty, staff and students. A signing of his travel book, “Paris 201: Uncommon Places in the City of Light,” followed the presentation.

Marterer, a Pittsburgh native, has always been a businessman. He received his Master of Business Administration from Gannon in 1976 and his undergraduate degree in economics and accounting from Clarion State University in Pennsylvania.

Marterer began his career at Hammermill Paper Co. in Erie and transitioned into International Paper where he worked for the next 33 years. Marterer served first with the executive leadership team and then as president of IP Asia, spending four years in Hong Kong. In 2002 he joined Arizona Chemical as chairman.

Along the way, Marterer discovered he had a deep appreciation for art.

Paper Exhibit

Chet LaPrice, operations manager of 90.5 WERG, admires artwork at the Schuster Gallery.

“I find that when I look at a piece of art, there is a reaction,” Marterer said. His wife, who received an art minor from Clarion State University, influenced this growing interest, as well.

As newlyweds in the 1960s, the couple spent weekends at auction houses and flea markets where they purchased land and seascapes to be used as wall decor. The 1980s saw a shift in their taste, as the couple gravitated toward the mid-century modern school, which is characterized by bright colors, abstract subjects and fragmented geometry. Many of these pieces were displayed at the Schuster Gallery show.

Marterer finds himself especially intrigued by post-Impressionist era paintings.

“I believe that people carry inside them a kind of tuning fork that vibrates to certain works of art, just like it would to music notes. Put simply, Impressionism resonates with me,” Marterer said during his presentation.

The couple began adding oil paintings from the 1930-1960 French Post-Impressionist era when they purchased a home in Paris in 2003. Marterer described these paintings as a “celebration of ordinary people.”

“The Impressionists seemed to live the life they painted: weekends in the country, eating and drinking, socializing...and family gathering,” Marterer wrote in his book. 

Now retired, the couple divides their time between their homes in Charleston, S.C., and Paris where they carry on a 40-year tradition of collecting art that they hope to eventually share with others.

“The whole idea of having an art gallery is to bring art to people,” Marterer said. “I hope visitors to the show at Gannon could in some way benefit from seeing this art live.”

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