BP’s latest act of restitution is a great windfall for the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum here in Lafayette. The company owns a prestigious collection of artwork by southwest Louisiana artists, which hung in the Lafayette office of Atlantic Richfield Co. BP bought ARCO in 2000.

BP is in the process of closing their Lafayette office. In light of the environmental insult to the state, rather than selling the collection, BP chose to respond with a gift of great beauty to the Lafayette community.

The artwork, which was collected in the 1980s,  includes paintings, drawings, and prints from local contemporary artists like Janet Fish, Robert Gordy, Ida Kohlmeyer, Elemore Morgan Jr., Jesse Poimboeuf and Robert Warrens. The museum plans to preserve the artwork in its permanent collection and utilize in future exhibitions. Selections from the ARCO collection have previously been on display in the University Art Museum in 1992.

“This is a tremendous addition to our permanent collection,” says Mark Tullos, director of the Hilliard Museum. “Our collections are held in trust for this community and the people of the state of Louisiana and we deeply appreciate this most generous gift from British Petroleum.”

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