Family with ties to PSU donates collection of art

Family with ties to PSU donates collection of art
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The family of Dr. William and Norma Reals presented a significant gift of artwork in their parents’ name to Pittsburg State University on Thursday.

The gift, which will become part of the university’s permanent collection, includes 31 works by two well-known artists, Birger Sandzen and Lester Raymer.

Sandzen was a Swedish-American painter who was known for his landscapes of Kansas and the southwest. He was also a long-time member of the faculty at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. Oklahoma-born Raymer also settled in Lindsborg, his wife’s home. He operated a busy studio in Lindsborg until his death in 1991.

The art was collected by Dr. and Mrs. Reals over the course of a lifetime and occupied an important place in their home until their deaths. Dr. Reals died in 2002. Mrs. Reals died in 2013.

Dr. William Reals was dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita. Norma Monahan Reals was born in Pittsburg and was the daughter of Francis Monahan, a former mining engineer.

Previously, Dr. and Mrs. Reals donated a 10-acre tract of land in Cherokee County as the site for the KRPS radio station tower and a 156-acre tract of land dedicated as the Francis A. Monahan Outdoor Education Center in honor of Mrs. Reals’ late father.

The art is now on exhibit in PSU’s University Gallery in Porter Hall.