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Displaying items by tag: jill and sheldon bonovitz

For more than thirty years, Philadelphians Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz––he is a lawyer, she is a ceramicist––have been drawn to the work of self-taught artists, individuals who are not trained in art schools, do not earn a living as artists, and who, for the most part, have limited or no connection to the mainstream art world with its dealers, galleries, collectors, critics, schools, and museums. During those three decades the couple has formed one of the finest collections of American outsider art in private hands. Intending that a wider public should eventually enjoy these works, they have made a promised gift of most of them to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This generous donation is celebrated by an exhibition, “Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection.

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Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection presents over 200 objects from one of the country’s most remarkable collections of works by American self-taught artists. On view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through June 9, 2013, Great and Mighty Things includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, and other objects by 27 artists who created their oeuvres outside of the mainstream modern and contemporary art worlds.

Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, who have spent over 30 years assembling their collection, will donate the works in the exhibition to the museum. The exhibition and gift include works by prominent outsider artists such as Martín Ramírez (1895-1963), Howard Finster (1916-2001), Purvis Young (1943-2010), and Bill Traylor (1854-1949) and spans from the 1930s to 2010. The Bonovitz’s generous donation will greatly enhance the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection as well as help to establish the institution as one of the primary centers for the study of American outsider art.

Outsider Art, which is known for its raw and out-of-the-ordinary beauty, has become a global phenomenon in the 20th and 21st centuries. Once considered the art of the mentally insane, Outsider Art now holds a prominent place next to modern and contemporary art while maintaining its individual identity.

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