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Fairfield University Art Museum Gifted 1,500 Prints

The Fairfield University Art Museum in Connecticut received a major gift of 1,500 works from the James M. Reed Print Collection, which the artist, collector, and master printer James M. Reed spent decades assembling. Spanning the sixteenth century through the early twenty-first century, the holdings include works by French artists Théodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix, and Édouard Manet; German Expressionists Emil Nolde, Ernst Kirchner, and Max Beckmann; and American artists Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Jim Dine, among others.

The gift also features Reed’s own work, which can be found in the permanent collections of more than twenty institutions across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library. Reed currently works as manager and curator of the Gabor Peterdi International Print Collection at Silvermine Art Center in New Canaan, Connecticut, and has taught printmaking as an adjunct professor of fine arts for more than thirty years.

Linda Wolk-Simon, director and chief curator of the Fairfield University Art Museum, called the gift “truly transformative.” “Unlike our peer institutions, whose foundational holdings typically comprise rich collections of prints . . . Fairfield has lacked a collection of works on paper. Though we have made small strides to rectify this, acquiring a handful of old master and contemporary British prints since our founding seven years ago, this lacuna seemed hopelessly insurmountable.”

She added: “The situation has changed, literally overnight, with the glorious gift of the James M. Reed Collection, which provides an endlessly rich font of marvelous works on paper for both display in the museum and for teaching across multiple disciplines. We are profoundly indebted to James Reed for this truly historic gift, and for the extraordinary generosity of spirit it represents.”

An exhibition showcasing fifty works from the collection will be staged at the museum’s Walsh Gallery from March 14, 2019 through June 8, 2019. Reed will conduct a conversation and a printing demonstration in conjunction with the show.