Last updated: 5/14/2013
Adelphi, Maryland
3501 University Boulevard East
Adelphi, MD 20783
phone: 301-985-7937
Daily9 AM - 7 PM
Our events are open to art patrons and the community. We encourage patrons to support this wonderful program.
Museum Type(s)
Eric Key, Director
phone: 301-985-7937 x1
Brian Young, Curator
phone: 301-985-7001
Rene Sanjines, Fine Arts Technician
phone: 301-985-7718
Jennifer Norris, Senior Graphic Designer
phone: 301-985-7937
Denise Melvin, Administrative Assistant II
phone: 301-985-7937 x5

The Leroy Merritt Center for the Art of Joseph Sheppard honors Sheppard’s extraordinary work, underscores his lifelong devotion to creating and promoting classical art, and celebrates the legacy of Maryland philanthropist and businessman Leroy Merritt. Designed by well-known Baltimore architect Jim Grieves, this extraordinary cultural arts center serves as an enduring tribute to the accomplished painter and sculptor. Established in 2010, the center furthers the university’s goal of promoting lifelong learning and serves as a unique focal point for the university’s highly acclaimed visual art collections.

The Center is particularly unusual in that it showcases the work of a unique, living artist—Joseph Sheppard not only paints and sculpts, but also has written several books on art. Sheppard was born in 1930 in Owings Mills, Maryland, and educated at the Maryland Institute College of Art under Jacques Maroger, the former technical director of the Louvre Museum in Paris. One of Maryland’s most renowned artists, Sheppard stands now as an acknowledged master of a realism that recalls the style of the Renaissance masters.

The Leroy Merritt Center for the Art of Joseph Sheppard will house a permanent collection of more than 20 of Sheppard’s finest bronze and marble sculptures, which have been donated to the university. The gallery will display a variety of paintings, on loan and in rotating exhibits, including a selection of Sheppard’s most notable works, many of which were showcased in earlier exhibitions at UMUC, including Beast of Burden and Fifty Years of Art. The study center will house Sheppard’s extensive personal collection of about 1,000 books about classical art and artists, along with a series of original drawings illustrating themes such as the male figure, still life, and head and portrait studies.


The Arts Program at University of Maryland University College (UMUC) creates an environment in which its diverse constituents, including members of the university community and the general public, can study and learn about art by directly experiencing it. The Arts Program seeks to promote the university's core values and to provide educational opportunities for lifelong learning. From the research and study of works of art to the teaching applications of each of our exhibitions, the Arts Program will play an increasing role in the academic life at the university. With a regional and national focus, the Arts Program is dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, study, exhibition, and interpretation of works of art of the highest quality in a variety of media that represent its constituents and to continuing its historic dedication to Maryland and Asian art.


Since 1978, University of Maryland University College has proudly shown works from a large and growing collection at the UMUC Inn and Conference Center.

The Center has been fully funded by private donations—including a $3 million gift from the late Baltimore-area real estate developer Leroy Merritt, for whom it is named. The facility includes a gallery, study center, and indoor sculpture garden, all centered around a spacious, multilevel reception area. The design of the Center was influenced by Sheppard’s own artistic interpretations.

Artifact Collections
  • Permanent Collections:
  • Asian Collection (Japanese Prints and Art of China)
  • International Collection (Balinese,Thailand, etc)
  • Educational Collection
  • Doris Patz Maryland Artist Collection
  • Selma Oppenheimer Collection
  • Gladys Goldstein Collection
  • Herman Maril Collection
  • Reini Maters Collection
  • Facilities

    The Center features an interior by Rita St. Claira, as well as a state-of-the-art climate control system, a “green” roof planted with sedum, and custom lighting by specialist Cheryl Flota, of Light’n Up, whose extensive résumé includes the display lighting for one of the Smithsonian Institution’s most prized possessions, the Hope Diamond.


    Access: Students, Staff Only

    Appointment required: No


    Our arts program circulates a newsletter twice a year and post to our website. Art catalogs are available for most art exhibitions.


    Join the Friends of the Arts Program

    The Friends of the Arts Program is an annual contribution program supporting the Arts Program at UMUC. By becoming a Friend, your contribution is used to help with costs associated with presenting culturally diverse exhibitions, supplemental education programs such as lectures and workshops, conservation and preservation efforts, scholarly research, educational publications and the general maintenance of UMUC art collections. Every year, the Arts Program provides diverse visual art exhibitions with educational outreach lectures, book signings, symposiums and meet-the-artist receptions. These programs have become one of the most recognizable and signature events for patrons throughout Maryland. The Program allows you to network with artists, support artists and art, build collections, understand the care for art and socialize with friends while enjoying works of art by leading and emerging artists worldwide. By becoming a Friend, you not only support the educational mission of the Arts Program but you also receive amenities as a contributor.

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