Sharing a Love for Art: Charlene and James Harvey

Charlene HarveyCharlene and James Harvey’s comprehensive collection of early 19th-century Northern California landscapes reflects their long and loving marriage as well as their appreciation for works by 19th-century California artists, such as master landscape artist, William Keith. Together, the Harveys thoughtfully created their collection over the course of 30 years, refining their focus to a specific period, location, and time. The collection reflects their shared passion and is a perfect complement to Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art’s definitive collection of 19th-century Northern California landscapes, which is recognized for its exceptional depth and breadth.

After Jim’s death, Charlene decided to bequeath a substantial selection of art to Saint Mary’s Museum of Art. “Gifting the collection to Saint Mary’s was a logical choice,” said Harvey. “I love that the works by William Keith will remain intact. At Saint Mary’s, I trust that staff will keep the collection relevant and that many departments can use it in different ways to benefit students studying history, art history, and the environment.”

Charlene and Jim have a long history with Saint Mary’s as neighbors, donors, and volunteers. Charlene resides part-time at the Harvey Ranch, which is located adjacent to Saint Mary’s. She is working on plans to preserve this land for future enjoyment by students and community members alike. Jim served the College as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents for several years. Over the years, they supported operational and capital projects at Saint Mary’s and Charlene continues to invest in the museum and its success.

Charlene is a proponent of early estate planning and also believes in involving the entire family in the planning process. When she told the family that she was gifting the family art collection to the College, they responded with enthusiasm. “Our daughters like the idea of being able to take their children to one location to see the collection together, everyone was thrilled with the decision,” she said. “We hope that our contribution will help shape the College’s future collection and perhaps encourage others to donate their art works to the museum.”

“We are grateful to the Harvey family for enhancing the College’s art collection and for sharing these deeply personal works of art,” said Doug Hansen, director of planned giving for Saint Mary’s. Charlene is pleased with the ease of the process, “Members of the museum and advancement staff at Saint Mary’s have been really wonderful to work with in all aspects of gifting the collection,” she said. “They have made it feel like a partnership and that they appreciate my decision.”

Gifts of art, collections—and funding to support their preservation—as well as other tangible property can be an effective strategy for providing support for Saint Mary’s College, while also providing various tax and financial benefits. These gifts can be made in several ways including:

  • Making an immediate transfer of property
  • Establishing a charitable trust or gift annuity
  • Providing for a bequest of personal property through your estate plan

To learn more about how you can support Saint Mary’s with gifts of personal property, please contact the College’s planned giving team, Doug Hansen, director of planned giving and Courtney Bennett associate planned giving officer.