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Ray Must Collection

Identifier: MS-469

Scope and Content

This collection contains original work from one of Wright State University’s original faculty members and one of Dayton’s influential artists.

It contains several pieces of art created by Ray Must, mostly during his time as an instructor at Wright State University. Apart from his sketchbook, all of these pieces are located in oversize flat file drawers. The collection also contains a video interview about his background and evolution as an artist.


  • Creation: 1965-2012


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biography of Ray Must

Ray Must was born in 1928 in Detroit, Michigan. His first significant experience with the arts was in primary school when his art teacher showed the class how she worked and carved out a wooden sculpture. She became an early role model.

Ray obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University, where he majored in psychology and art. He was heavily influenced by his instructors who inspired his interest in alternative materials. Ray obtained a Master of Arts degree from The Ohio State University, focusing mostly in print making. He was a research assistant and taught classes at OSU. He then taught middle school for two years and served two years in the U.S. Army.

Taking a position to teach at the Dayton Art Institute (DAI), Ray moved to Dayton in 1964. The first printing press came to the DAI just before his arrival and he, and other artists, would build the DAI's studios. Later, Ray became one of the original faculty members at Wright State University where he taught from 1967-1991, achieving emeritus status. He, a print maker, along with two painters, made up the original WSU Art Department faculty.

Ray also played a major role in raising funds and bringing in artists for the Dayton Visual Arts Center in its formative years. He is a founding member of the Dayton Printmakers Cooperative, one of the most active print groups in Ohio. His art work includes large abstract paintings on un-stretched canvas, figurative drawings, technically inventive prints, and intimate and inspiring daily sketchbooks that have been exhibited nationally. At the time of this writing he has done fourteen one-man exhibitions, as well as a steady stream of group shows, workshops, lectures, exhibition curating and jurying duties. In 2006, his Ray Must: Paintings, Prints and Sketchbooks went on exhibit at Purdue University. In 2012, pieces of his work were on display at the Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries at WSU in Dayton Matrix: A regional Print Exhibition and later at The Dayton Printmakers Cooperative Winter Print Show and Sale. Today, he is still very involved in the Dayton art community.

Mr. Must's collection was the first to come here through a cooperative initiative between the Wright State Art Department and Special Collections and Archives. This partnership was established to document the history and development of art education and the Art Department here at Wright State University. A key element in this project is also to collect the history of the Art Department's wider relationship with the art community of Dayton and the Miami Valley.

Ray Must died on July 22, 2022.


5.5 linear feet

11.37 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Ray Must was one of the original faculty members at Wright State University (WSU). He was an instructor at WSU from 1967 to 1991. This collection contains some of his work as an artist, including prints, sketches and etchings. Also incuded is a five part interview with the artist.

Statement of Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically from 1965-2012.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

A computer is required to view video interviews.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the Wright State University Special Collections and Archives February 14, 2013 by Raymond Must.

Related Material

MS-102, Paul Katz Papers MS-188, Milton Caniff Drawings MS-403, Aviation Lithograph Collection

Separated Material

Oversized materials are housed in flat file drawers. DVDs were separated to the E-Archives and the content is available for viewing.

Processing Information

Processed by Victoria Penno, January 2014.

Guide to the Ray Must Collection (MS-469)
Finding aid prepared by Victoria Penno, January 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 13: Video interviews in the E-Archives processed by Toni Vanden Bos

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA