The Philadelphia Museum of Art has received a donation of fifty pieces, including its first work by Edward Hopper, Road and Trees, 1962, according to the New York Times’ Robin Pogrebin. There are also works by Paul Thek, Cy Twombly, Philip Guston, Eva Hesse, and Albert Pinkham Ryder in the gift, which was left by Daniel W. Dietrich II, a philanthropist who died last year.
“When Hopper was painting, the museum wasn’t really focused on acquiring contemporary American art,” said Timothy Rub, the museum’s director. “Now, it’s almost too difficult for museums to acquire.”
Dietrich also donated ten million dollars for an endowment to support the museum’s work in contemporary art.
Robert Sperry at work, 195- / unidentified photographer. Robert Sperry papers, 1951–2002. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art announced today it will receive a challenge grant of up to $900,000 from the Walton Family Foundation in support of the digitization of the archive’s collections. The grant will be distributed over the course of three years and in three installments of up to $300,000.
“The task of digitizing the archives’ vast collections for broad accessibility requires a dedicated team of experts and time,” director Kate Haw said. “This challenge grant from the distinguished Walton Family Foundation allows us to expand both our technical and staff capacities to ramp up our pace beyond what we could have imagined. We look forward to getting underway to achieve our ultimate goal of making our collections available to anyone, anytime, anywhere and stimulating understanding and appreciation of American art worldwide.”
The grant will allow the archives to double the amount of images it’s able to digitize each year and will result in an additional 240 linear feet of archival material available online by September 2019.
Founded in 1954, the Archives of American Art consists of nearly 6,000 collections and over twenty million items. Since it began digitizing works in 2004, the archives has made more than 2.5 million images available online, including papers of cultural figures such as Milton Avery, Joseph Cornell, Lee Krasner, Horace Pippin, Jackson Pollock, and Grant Wood.
The Walton Family Foundation is dedicated to continuing the philanthropic legacy of Sam and Helen Walton. In 2015, the foundation awarded nearly $375 million in grants supporting education, environmental preservation, and economic growth in their home state of Arkansas.
The Independent Curators International announced today that Miguel A. Lopez, chief curator of TEOR/éTica in San Jose, Costa Rica, will receive the 2016 Independent Vision Curatorial Award, which includes a $3,000 prize in support of new projects.
Franklin Sirmans, director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, chose Lopez from a pool of twelve finalists who were nominated by arts professionals affiliated with ICI. Sirmans said, “Lopez’s vital ability to go back and forth between a variety of exhibitions as a curator between important monographic shows and more speculative presentations of works in thematically driven group shows is remarkable.” Sirmans added, “He is an important young voice whose past projects suggest a brilliant future.”
Lopez is a Peruvian writer, researcher, and cofounder of Red Conceptualismos del Sur—an international research platform that focuses on political experiences and Latin American art in the 1960s and ’70s. In 2012, he joined the Lima Art Museum’s Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee and he is a founding member of Bisagra, a curators and artist-led project in Lima, which develops experimental programs and exhibitions.
Established in 2010 as an initiative of the Gerrit Lansing Education Fund, the Independent Vision Curatorial Award is a biennial prize that recognizes contemporary art curators in the early stages of their careers. Previous recipients include Doryun Chong, chief curator at M+ in Hong Kong; Nav Haq, curator of the 2017 Göteborg International Biennial; and Jay Sanders, curator of Performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
France24 reports that the American couple Marlene and Spencer Hays have donated a large collection of nineteenth and some early twentieth century works to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. This is the largest gift to a French museum by foreign donors in over seventy years, and will be bequeathed upon their deaths. The collection comprises around 600 works and is worth an estimated $381 million, including works by artists such as Édouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, and Edgar Degas.
The Hayses donated an initial 187 pieces during an official ceremony presided over by French President François Hollande at the Elysée presidential palace in Paris over the weekend. French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay said of the gesture: “This donation, which is exceptional for its size and coherence, is the largest a French museum has received from a foreign donor since 1945.”
The couple donated the collection under the condition that the Musée d’Orsay exhibit the works in a single space. To accommodate this, the institution will move its library and archives to make room, according to the museum’s president Guy Cogeval. One of the motivating factors behind the donation is presumed to be that under French law museums are prohibited from selling off pieces donated to their collections.
The Syrian painter Marwan, who was considered one of the most important Arab artists of his generation, died in Berlin on October 23 at the age of eighty-two.
Born as Marwan Kassab-Bachi in Damascus in 1934, the artist lived and worked in Berlin since 1957. There, he studied alongside Georg Baselitz at the West Berlin Academy and became a proponent of the “New Figuration” in the 1960s. German art historian Jorn Merkert, a friend of Marwan’s, said he was “obsessed by faces because for him they are a means of expressing the dramatic depth of life.”
Marwan’s work has been shown at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal; the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; and many of his pieces are in the collection of the Berlinische Galerie. He taught for years during the summers at the Darat al Funun Khalid Shoman Foundation in Amman, Jordan and in 1994 he became the first Arab member of the Akademie der Künste in Germany.
The Saudi Arabian novelist, Abdul-Rahman Munif, was a friend and his book Journey of Art and Life (1997) was about Marwan. He said that the painter “belongs to a rare breed of artists who firmly believe that art is a moral act which links entertainment and joy with a search for truth.” Following Munif’s death in 2004, reissues of many of his books included images by Marwan, among them the five-part novel Cities of Salt (1984).
According to Laurie Rojas at the Art Newspaper, Berlin’s KW Institute has closed its doors until next January to allow for a restructure and refurbishment. The city of Berlin doubled KW’s funding this year, but their building in Berlin’s Mitte district shut in September after the ninth Berlin Biennale.
One of the goals during the closure will be restructuring to allow for greater autonomy for both the institution—now directed by Krist Gruijthuijsen—and the biennial, which is directed by Gabriele Horn. Gruijthuijsen stated: “Both institutions achieved international relevance over the past decades…For us, it has been a logical consequence to rethink the organizational and financial structure to maintain the future sustainability of both institutions.”
KW will reopen on January 19, 2017 with some improvements to the building and the comeback of the Pogo Bar, which will host events every Thursday in a space designed by the Los Angeles-based artist Robert Wilhite. A grant from the Berlin Lottery Foundation, which owns the building, will fund additional renovations before the 2018 Berlin Biennale.
The New Art Gallery Walsall located in the West Midlands of England is at risk of closing after the local council announced that it needs to reduce the venue’s funding by more than $610,000 between 2017 and 2020, Hannah Mcgivern of Art Newspaper reports.
The gallery currently receives a subsidy of roughly $1 million each year, which the Walsall Council has proposed reducing by $122,000 in 2017 and possibly as much as $476,000 in 2019. A spokesman for Walsall Council said it has to save $105 million by 2020.
According to a report released by the council, the free-admission gallery “will have to operate on a more commercial basis and become self-sustaining…or may close.” The final budget will not be decided until February.
The Arts Council England, which has a $760 million budget for the arts, grants the gallery around $977,000 annually. However, Peter Knott, the Midlands area director for Arts Council England, said, “we cannot use that money to replace funding lost from local authorities.” He added, “We remain confident that our partners recognize the great value of our combined investments into art and culture in Walsall.”
More than 1,300 people have signed a petition on change.org protesting the budget cuts and are calling them “unethical.”
Academic Edgar Munhall, who was the first curator of the Frick Collection where he worked for more than three decades, has died in Manhattan at the age of eighty-three, Sam Roberts of the New York Times reports.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1933. Munhall earned his Bachelor’s degree in art history from Yale University in 1955. He received his Master’s degree from New York University before returning to Yale for his Ph.D.
From 1959 to 1965, he served as assistant curator of prints and drawings at the Yale University Art Gallery and taught art history. He joined the Frick Collection as its first curator in 1965. Previously, the role of curator was the responsibility of the director of the institution, which was founded in 1935. During Munhall’s tenure at the museum he worked under five directors. He was responsible for acquisitions, publications, conservation, lectures, and exhibitions.
The eighteenth-century scholar became known as the leading expert on the work of artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze. In 1976, he organized the first exhibition dedicated to the artist. Titled “Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1725-1805,” the show traveled from the Wadsworth Atheneum in Connecticut to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon. In 1996, he organized “A Portraitist for the ‘90s,” the Frick’s first exhibition devoted to Greuze, and in 2002 he curated the first show featuring the artist’s drawings at the institution, “Greuze the Draftsman.”
In 2002, Munhall was named an Officier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has authored numerous books and essays, including Catalogue des Dessins du Musėe Jenisch Vevey, 2012; Oklahoma City Museum of Art: Selected Paintings and Sculpture from the Collection, 2007; A Pair of Portraits by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 2006; The Frick Collection: An Illustrated Catalogue. Volume 9: Drawings, Prints, and Later Acquisitions, 2003; and Greuze the Draftsman, 2002.
Artist Jordi Colomer has been selected to represent Spain in the Fifty-Seventh edition of the Venice Biennale, which will be held from May 13 to November 26, 2017. Manuel Segade, director of the Center for Dos de Mayo Art Madrid, will curate the pavilion.
Jordi Colomer, who lives and works in Barcelona and Paris, is best known for his video installations, which explore urban spaces and how they influence human behavior. His work has been exhibited at the National Art Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Argos Center for Art and Media in Brussels, Matadero Madrid, and the Santa Monica Art Centre Barcelona, among other places.
The winning proposal, titled “City of Pocket,” was selected from a shortlist that also included projects by artist Luis Bisbe and curator Alicia Chillida, artist Eugenio Ampudia, and artist Cristina Lucas and curator Gerardo Mosquera.
Sculptor Tom Doyle died at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, on October 8.
Born in Jerry City, Ohio, in 1928, Doyle received his BFA from Ohio State University in 1952 and his MFA from the school in 1953. While studying at the university he met mentors Roy Lichtenstein and Stanley Twardowicz.
In 1958, Doyle produced Stillman, which he considered his “breakthrough work.” Later that year he participated in “New Forms-New Media” at Martha Jackson Gallery, which featured works by Jean Arp, John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, and Yves Klein.
Doyle exhibited at various museums across the United States, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Walker Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work was also featured in galleries in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, and Italy.
He taught art at several New York institutions such as Queens College, the New School for Social Research, and the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters Achievement (1994), the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award in Sculpture (1990–1991), and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship Award in Sculpture (1982).
Doyle was married to Natalie Burdette and artist Eva Hesse before he met his wife Jane Miller Doyle.
In an artist statement, Doyle said, “To cantilever forms into space, to make them freestanding without obvious supports, has been one of my constant preoccupations. To make heavy forms float or dance in space defying gravity, with a tenuous balance, is the major concern of truly ‘structural’ sculpture.”