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The St. Louis Art Museum has announced a significant acquisition: “Sunday Morning Breakfast,” a 1943 painting by the highly regarded African-American folk artist Horace Pippin.

The painting, the purchase of which was approved by the museum’s board of commissioners on Monday evening, cost $1.5 million.

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The collection of Edith and C.C. Johnson Spink has given the St. Louis Art Museum 225 works valued at no less than $50 million, including two paintings by Norman Rockwell, two each by Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, and more than 200 works of Asian art.

The Rockwells and Wyeths are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But it is the Asian pottery, ceramics, bronzes, glass and jade, some thousands of years old, that will make the largest impact on the museum’s collection, officials said Tuesday.

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The Department of Justice is giving up its fight to reclaim for Egypt a 3,200-year-old mummy mask that disappeared from that country decades ago and later found its way into the collection of the St. Louis Art Museum.

“The Department of Justice will take no further legal action with respect to the mask of Ka-Nefer-Nefer,” U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said in response to questions from the Post-Dispatch on Monday, the deadline for the Department of Justice if it wished to prolong the court battle.

Museum officials couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. According to court filings, both sides are still discussing payment of the museum’s legal fees.

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Thanks to a rare arrangement with the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, the St. Louis Art Museum will host a small exhibition of works by the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko. The St. Louis Art Museum was loaned the Rothko works because it agreed to send its collection of Gerhard Richter paintings to the Fondation Beyeler for inclusion in the largest exhibition devoted to Richter ever held in Switzerland.

The  St. Louis Art Museum’s Rothko exhibition will include four paintings from the Fondation Beyeler and four works from its own collection, two of which have not been on view since 1994. The show will run from May 24 through September 14.

The Fondation Beyeler’s Richter retrospective will be on view from May 18 through September 7. The exhibition will coincide with Art Basel (June 19-June 22), which will give the St. Louis Art Museum’s paintings considerable visibility.

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