This collection of original paintings, sketches, and sculptures by artists who have worked in the Carolinas was presented to the Gaston County Public Library by Margaret McConnell Holt of Concord, North Carolina. It was established in memory of Mrs. Holt's father, Dr. D.E. McConnell, who around 1900 originated Gastonia's first lending library in his dental office with fifty books of his own. From this beginning came a main library with 9 branches circulating over 900,000 items.
In selecting works by award-winning artists who exhibited in top juried shows in NC., the Southeast, and across the nation, Mrs. Holt and her husband had in mind especially all people who are just beginning to look and see. "Because of our interest in the importance of good humor and the lyrical side of life, the pictures and sculptures will be more cheerful than sad. We hope they will give pleasure and challenge the imagination," said Mrs. Holt in presenting the growing collection.
Adapted from a statement made by Margaret McConnell Holt, 1971
The McConnell Collection sculpture "A Pillar of Enlightenment," created by Juan Logan, Main Library, Gastonia. Moved to the Gaston County Museum of Art and History in March of 2022.