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The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. will receive 30 photographs from Robert E. Meyerhoff, a longtime supporter of the museum, and his partner, Rheda Becker. The gift includes photographs by a number of German artists including Andreas Gursky and Bernd and Hilla Becker as well as works by Jeff Wall, Cindy Sherman, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

The gift will substantially improve the National Gallery of Art’s photography collection, which contains few works by prominent living artists. The museum began assembling its photography collection in 1949 when Georgia O’Keeffe donated 1,720 photographs made by her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, to the institution. The National Gallery of Art did not establish a separate photography department until 1990.

In 1987, Meyerhoff and his late wife, Jane, agreed to donate their entire art collection to the National Gallery of Art. The gift included works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Ellsworth Kelly, and Brice Marden and was displayed at the museum in 1996 and again in 2010. This recent gift will go on view when the museum’s East Building reopens in the fall of 2016 after a renovation and expansion.    

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has launched MetCollects, a new web series that grants visitors first glimpses of the Met’s recent acquisitions. MetCollects will highlight one work each month, selected from the hundreds of pieces that the museum acquires through gifts and purchases each year. Each MetCollects feature will include photography, curatorial commentary, and occasionally, informative videos.

Three MetCollects features are currently available on the museum’s website. The features explore the following recent acquisitions: a multimedia meditation on time and space by the modern artist William Kentridge, an early 19th century portrait by the French painter François Gérard, and the Mishneh Torah by the Master of the Barbo Missal. The Italian manuscript from around 1457 is jointly owned by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Met.

Since 2000, the Met has launched a number of web-based initiatives including its Connections series, which offers personal perspectives on works of art in the museum’s collection by 100 members of the museum’s staff, and 82nd and Fifth, which features 100 curators from across the Met who talk about the one work of art from the collection that changed the way they see the world.

To view the MetCollects series click here.

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This fall, Phillips will sell photographs from the Art Institute of Chicago’s illustrious collection. Works by Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston and Irving Penn will be offered during sales in October in New York and in November in London.

The Art Institute of Chicago began organizing photography exhibitions in 1900 and has been building its own collection for nearly 65 years. Ellen Sandor, Chair and Curator of the Art Institute of Chicago’s photography department, said, “In 2014 we celebrate our fortieth anniversary as a separate curatorial department and the fifth anniversary of our dedicated galleries in the Art Institute’s Modern Wing. Those two anniversaries represent continuity and change—both essential to our progress. We have spent three and a half years to assess our holdings, with a view to refining and diversifying the collection as well as better understanding the treasures that we possess. Proceeds from the sale will support future acquisitions, and we are grateful to Phillips for working with such care and consideration on this sale.”

The two sales will be complemented by an online selling exhibition in December. Highlights from the collection will go on view in New York, Chicago and London prior to the sales.

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Tuesday, 31 December 2013 16:57

Stedelijk Museum Enjoys Record Year

2013 has been a record year for Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, which hopes to greet its one millionth visitor in the New Year. The institution welcomed 700,000 patrons in 2013 -- the highest attendance rate since the Stedelijk opened in 1895.

The Stedelijk recently underwent a complete renovation to its historic building and reopened to the public on September 23, 2013. The overhaul included an expansion so that the museum could exhibit more of its remarkable modern and contemporary art collection.

The Stedelijk will kick off 2014 with the first large-scale design exhibition since the museum’s reopening. ‘Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up at the Stedelijk’ will debut on February 1. Other exhibitions in the New Year will include a show featuring the work of jewelry designers Gijs Bakker and Emmy van Leersum (opening on February 22), a selection of works by Canadian photographer Jeff Wall (beginning on March 1st), new work by Paulien Oltheten & Anouk Kruithof (opening on March 14), a selection from the collection Martijn and Jeannette Sanders (opening on July 19), and a survey of the work of painter Marlene Dumas (starting on September 5).

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The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has announced that it will donate its remarkable Harry Shunk and Shunk-Kender Photography Collection to five major institutions -- the Getty Research Institute, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Centre Pompidou, and the Tate. The collection includes approximately 200,000 black-and-white prints, color prints, negatives, contact sheets, color transparencies, and slides.

The Foundation’s donation is unique in that it will establish a consortium among the institutions that will both receive and share the materials. The collection of photographic material was shot by the late Harry Shunk and Janos Kender, and dates from approximately 1958 to 1973. Many of the images capture notable artists such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert Rauschenberg, Joan Miro, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Man Ray, Barnett Newman, and Alexander Calder.

The photographs were acquired by the Foundation between 2008 and 2012, several years after Shunk’s death. The Foundation went on to preserve, catalogue and digitize the works, eventually creating a free online archive.

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The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA will unveil its updated, 140-acre campus on July 4, 2014. The museum’s decade-long expansion plan is the most significant transformation the institution has undergone since opening in 1955.

The renovations were spearheaded by three different architects -- Japan’s Tadao Ando Architects designed the new, 44,000-square-foot Visitor Center; New York’s Selldorf Architects transformed the original Museum Building as well as the Manton Research Center; and Massachusetts-based firm, Reed Hilderband, updated the Clark’s landscape and added a dramatic, one-acre reflecting pool. The renovation added over 16,000-square-feet of gallery space to the museum, allowing the Clark to exhibit more of its remarkable collection, which includes Old Master paintings, Impressionist masterpieces, and fine British and American silver.

When the Clark reopens this summer, the museum will present four inaugural exhibitions and the reinstallation of its collections. The exhibitions include ‘Make It New: Abstract Paintings from the National Gallery of Art, 1950–1975,’ ‘Cast for Eternity: Ancient Ritual Bronzes from the Shanghai Museum,’ ‘Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith,’ and ‘Photography and Discovery.’


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The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York is currently presenting the exhibition Edward Steichen in the 1920s and 1930s: A Recent Acquisition. All of the works in the show were donated to the museum by collectors Richard and Jackie Hollander. Richard, the Chairman of Aristotle Capital Management, LLC, and his wife, Jackie, are believed to have held the largest collection of Steichen photographs in private hands.

Steichen, an American photographer, painter and curator, is known for his groundbreaking work with Alfred Stieglitz. In 1905, the duo founded the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, which eventually became the pioneering 291 Gallery. In 1923, Steichen was hired as the first chief of photography for Vogue and Vanity Fair, a position he held until 1937. Ultimately, Steichen transformed photography as an art form through his innovations in portrait, fashion, theater, horticultural, and advertising photography.

The photographs bequeathed to the Whitney were purchased by the Hollanders directly from the estate of the artist and were printed by Steichen himself, giving the works a rare provenance. Edward Steichen in the 1920s and 1930s will be on view through February 23, 2014.  

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Monday, 25 November 2013 17:38

Art Dealer Plans to Buy Jail to House Collection

Art, photography, and furniture dealer, Daniel Wolf, and Maya Lin, his award-winning architect wife, are planning to purchase the Yonkers City Jail for $1 million. The couple will turn the rundown, 10,000-square-foot structure into studio, gallery and loft space. The former jail closed in September and was put on the market by the city for $2.5 million.

The space, which will be designed by Lin, will house Wolf’s collection and serve as a base for dealing art as well as holding exhibitions and other public events. Yonkers’ Mayor, Mike Spano, said, “This prime waterfront real estate in the heart of our vibrant downtown area was no place for a jail, but it’s an ideal location for an international art collection like that of Daniel Wolf.”    


A closing is expected in December when the city approves the transaction.

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Maine philanthropists, Owen and Anna Wells, have donated their impressive photography collection to the Portland Museum of Art. The gift includes works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Ansel Adams, William Wegman and Berenice Abbott. 45 photographs from the Wells’ collection will go on view on December 21, 2013 as part of the exhibition American Vision: Photographs from the Collection of Owen and Anna Wells.

Owen Wells, Vice Chairman of the philanthropic Libra Foundation, and his wife, Anna, President of the Portland Museum’s Board of Trustees, began collecting photography in the 1990s. The couple initially gravitated towards American artists with ties to Maine, but their collection has grown to include some of the most well-known photographers of the 20th century. The Wells’ collection spans more than eight decades and includes landscapes, portraits and scenes of everyday life.   

American Vision: Photographs from the Collection of Owen and Anna Wells will be on view at the Portland Museum of Art through February 23, 2014. 

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The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT presents An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape of Contemporary Photography, the institution’s first photography exhibition in nearly a decade. An Artificial Wilderness is pulled almost entirely from the Atheneum’s permanent collection (save one private loan) and explores man’s relationship to the natural landscape.

The exhibition features works by 16 prominent photographers and spans from the 1960s to the present. Works by Andy Goldsworthy, Ed Ruscha, Olafur Eliasson and Louise Lawler are on view and explore such themes as construction, destruction and humanity’s disregard for the physical world.

An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape of Contemporary Photography will be on view at the Wadsworth Atheneum through January 5, 2014.

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