The Art of Giving: Local Couple Donates More Than $114,000 in Artwork
A Nashua, New Hampshire couple has donated artwork to Rivier College that includes pieces by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, and other well-known artists. Part of the collection represents what may be the largest collection of works by Erte in the state.

The pieces donated by Dr. John Dagianis and his wife, Dr. Ann Dobbins, valued at more than $114,000, will be the focus of a public exhibition this fall, say College officials.

"This generous gift means so much to the College and to the community-at-large," says Kenneth Binder, River's vice president for institutional advancement. "Such prized works by well-known artists surely will be appreciated by our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors to campus."

Dagianis, a member of the College's Board of Trustees, and Dobbins accumulated pieces over the years that reflected their wide-ranging tastes in art. From a silkscreen lithograph of Warhol's "Golden Mushroom-Campbell's Soup II"--purchased only weeks before the pop artist's death in 1987--to two bronze sculptures by Erte, an artist primarily known for his paintings, the couple's art will appeal to a wide audience, says Dagianis.

"This gift will allow Rivier students and the wider community the opportunity to experience fine art firsthand," says Dagianis, an ophthalmologic surgeon. His wife is a pediatrician.

Dagianis explains his interest in art may have come from his mother, Eleanor Dagianis, an artist who earned her degree in fine arts in her late fifties and continues to paint. Dagianis says an art appreciation course he attended while an undergraduate at Dartmouth College also fueled his appreciation of a variety of art genres.

In addition to Warhol, Erte, and Dali, the donated works include serigraphs and lithographs by David Hockney, Joan Miro, and Thomas McKnight.