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Alten works now accessible online thanks to gift

  • screenshot of Alten digital collection

Posted on May 01, 2019

Anita M. Gilleo, granddaughter of Mathias J. Alten, has established an endowment fund to maintain a catalog of the impressionist painter's works indefinitely.

Grand Valley owns the world's largest public collection of Alten's work. The artist was born in Germany in 1871 and immigrated to Grand Rapids as a teenager, making it his home until his death in 1938.

In November, Gilleo gave Alten's catalog of more than 2,000 works to Grand Valley. Students and the public can access the learning library digitally, which Gilleo said allows them to experience how her grandfather's works changed over time and were affected by various world events.

“The Mathias Alten online catalogue raisonné represents many years of diligent work and research on the part of its creator, James A. Straub," Gilleo said. "The GVSU Art Gallery, with its already impressive investment in the work of Alten, seemed an obvious choice for provision of further resources to maintain and extend that investment."

The Alten Catalogue Raisonné enforces the Art Gallery's commitment to making the university's entire art collection accessible and available online and through multiple platforms, including a mobile application. The Alten collection and catalogue raisonné will eventually be housed together on the Art Gallery’s Alten Online Digital Library website.

This gift is a part of the Laker Effect campaign, which is transforming the lives of students and enhancing the West Michigan community. Learn more about the campaign at