Archeologist gives ancient artifacts to Rust College


California archeologist and philanthropist Arnold Vernon of Carlsbad, Calif., has donated his art collection to the Leontyne Price Library at Rust College in Holly Springs. 

Vernon has made previous donations to Rust. In 2004 he donated a collection of original hand-carved Inuit sculptures from the Arctic.  

 “I have treasured these ancient pieces for nearly 50 years,” said Vernon, who was first introduced to the artifacts as a college student.  

Vernon currently offers scholarships to Rust students and intends to increase his financial support to students interested in broadening their knowledge of the Olmec era.  “I felt that it was time to pass these cherished objects on to benefit the students at Rust,” said Vernon.  

The Olmec were an ancient pre-Columbian people living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, roughly in what are the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Their territory spanned as far south as Guatemala and as far north as the Valley of Mexico, before they mysteriously disappeared.  

The exhibition is intended to give students and the public the opportunity to learn about the creative energies of the indigenous people from Mexico, Central and South America. Rust College is the only institution where Vernon has chosen to house his pre-Columbian art collection.  

The pre-Columbian art collection is located on the lower level of the Leontyne Price Library. A formal reception will be held this spring as part of the Rust College Lyceum Series.