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Wentz-Matzene Collection

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Wentz-Matzene Collection

In 1936, the University of Oklahoma officially founded its art museum with the acquisition of a collection of Asian art, the gift of Louis Haines “Lew” Wentz (1877-1949) and Richard Gordon Matzene (1880-1950) both of Ponca City, Oklahoma.  The Wentz-Matzene Collection of 758 objects featured Gandharan sculpture, Persian miniatures, Nepalese and Tibetan art, and Chinese ceramics, bronzes, and paintings. Matzene was an English-born professional photographer and adventurer who spent many years traveling through Asia and collecting art before settling in Oklahoma in the mid 1920s.  Oilman Lew Wentz financed Matzene’s additional buying trips to Asia until the two men donated the resulting collection to the University of Oklahoma.