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Cabarrus Magazine

Grand Event Planned for Phifer Exhibition Premiere

Mar 12, 2015 01:04PM ● By Jason Huddle

CONCORD – If you’ve never heard of Robert F. Phifer (1849-1928), it may surprise you to learn of his impact on art within the State of North Carolina. The Historic Cabarrus Association will host a dinner and exhibition opening on Thursday, March 26, to share Phifer’s story and celebrate his significant contributions to the North Carolina Museum of Art.

A Concord native, Phifer used his success as a prosperous planter and cotton buyer to fuel his passion for art. In the early 20th century, he had one of the most comprehensive art collections in the world. With his passing, Phifer became the first major benefactor of the North Carolina Museum of Art. The Museum acquired more than 230 works of art, including many of their masterpieces, wholly or in part with funds from Phifer’s bequest.

In addition to collecting paintings from the most renowned artists of his time, Phifer traveled the world to study art and became an artist in his own right.

The Historic Cabarrus Association will host Phifer’s personal art collection, on loan from the North Carolina Museum of Art, in their next exhibition, which opens March 27. This exhibition includes fourteen 19th and early 20th century paintings that were last on public display in 1973.

The public is invited to participate in a special evening of art appreciation on Thursday, March 26. The Historic Cabarrus Association will host a dinner at 6 p.m. in the Hotel ConcordLEITH-ROSS, Snow Scene, 28_2_49 ballroom (14 Union Street North, Concord). Art historian Laura Fravel will present the keynote address on Phifer and his collection. Following dinner, attendees will stroll down Union Street to the Historic Courthouse, where they’ll be the first to see the Phifer pieces at The Concord Museum.

Tickets to the grand opening event are $40, which includes dinner and the exhibition. The reservation deadline is Friday, March 20. Tickets must be purchased online or by mailing a check payable to the Historic Cabarrus Association, Inc. to PO Box 966, Concord, NC 28026.

For more information on the Grand Opening of the Robert F. Phifer Art Exhibit, Thursday, March 26, at 6 p.m. in the Hotel Concord ballroom, contact the Historic Cabarrus Association at 704-920-2465, email [email protected] or visit

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