A centerpiece of the art collection is the Kirby Collection of Historical Paintings, which consists of American portraits, history paintings, and sculpture.

Assembled by Allan P. Kirby ’15 with the assistance of his friend and New York art dealer, E. J. Rousuck, Kirby described his criterion: “It was intended to have broadly represented the many fields of achievement through which men can leave lasting impressions upon the nation.”

Barbara Frietchie by Dennis Malone Carter

Many of the portraits can been seen in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, built in 1929–30, given by Allan P. Kirby’s father, Fred Morgan Kirby, to house the Department of Government and Law.