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Whale Interior

A New Building for Studio Art & Art History


Office of Advancement

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401


888-566-9265 (Toll Free)

Fax: 309-341-7770


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The windows of Old Main.

Where the Future of Art is Taking Shape

Creating Something Important

The Whitcomb Art Center is a reality. After one year of construction, the Whitcomb Art Center was dedicated at Homecoming 2016 and become home in January 2017 to the art and art history departments. The modern, technologically sophisticated building provides a series of spaces—studio, seminar, and classroom—for the study and creation of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and multimedia works of art.

Since 1964, studio art and art history had shared space with Knox's theatre and music programs within the Ford Center for the Fine Arts. Thanks to a generous gift from Dick '57 and Joan Whitcomb '56, combined with gifts from more than 160 other donors, Knox created this new state-of-the-art space where Knox faculty and students can study, create, and share art.  

Dick & Joan Whitcomb Art Center

West View—The Dick & Joan Whitcomb Art Center.

Creating Something Useful

The Dick and Joan Whitcomb Art Center includes studios for painting, printmaking, design, sculpture, ceramics, drawing and digital art, as well as metalworking and woodworking shops. The building also includes seminar and classroom teaching venues, as well as faculty offices, and dedicated open studio space for faculty and seniors working on capstone projects. A two-floor critique hall offers a gallery-like setting in which to evaluate works.

Whitcomb Art Center Opening

West View—Alumni and friends take a tour at the opening of the Dick & Joan Whitcomb Art Center.

Designed for the Future, with a Connection to the Past

This environmentally friendly structure was designed with future LEED certification in mind. It is energy efficient, with a sawtooth roof that fills the second floor studio spaces with even, natural light in all seasons. Native prairie plants surrounding the building are nourished by storm runoff. The striking metal exterior is accented with repurposed lumber from a shed that once stood on the building site and Purington pavers from the streets of Galesburg. Heart pine, reclaimed from the floor of Alumni Hall, is featured in the building's classroom. The building has received several national awards for both its unique design and also its metal construction.  

View of Whitcomb Art Center from South Street.

North View—From South Street, the new art building is the first Knox campus structure visitors encounter as they travel west.

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A student on a rope swing in the forest at Green Oaks.
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$5 mil.

Largest gift

by living donors (Dick ‘57 and Joan ‘56 Whitcomb) for the creation of a new art building

Knox College

Printed on Friday, March 31, 2023