The Parrish Art Museum announced today that it has been given the art, archives, and resources of the James and Charlotte Brooks Foundation, established by Abstract Expressionists James Brooks (1906–1992) and Charlotte Park (1918–2010). The transfer marks the dissolution of the foundation. The museum will draw on the foundation's assets to establish the James and Charlotte Brooks Fund, an endowment that will support the research, care, and exhibition of the works.
“This generous gift will build upon the Parrish’s renowned collection of late nineteenth- to twenty-first-century American painting and allow the museum to provide richly expanded context for its existing strengths,” said director Terrie Sultan. “Now, along with our major holdings of works by William Merritt Chase and Fairfield Porter, we have the opportunity to engage in thorough scholarship and interpretation of the work of these pivotal artists, in order to both further the understanding and appreciation of Brooks’s and Park’s careers, and to also engage in lively dialogue about the creative legacy of artists who have lived and worked on the East End.”
The Parrish will add eighty-nine paintings, drawings, and prints by Brooks and Park to its permanent collection. These works were selected by the museum in consultation with John R. Lane, a foundation trustee and the chair of its art committee. The foundation, which has also recently donated 170 works by the artists to the permanent collections of twenty other American museums, has encouraged the Parrish to sell works by the two artists that are not intended to be accessioned, in order to direct the income to the enhancement of the museum’s James and Charlotte Brooks Fund.
“This innovative agreement with the Parrish handsomely advances the wishes of James Brooks and Charlotte Park by providing a fine home for their work,” stated Dr. Dodson. “It also stands as a model for how small artist foundations can fulfill their mission by collaborating with museums in new ways. The foundation’s resources can now be fully dedicated to advancing artistic, scholarly, and educational goals, including the study, stewardship, and presentation of the artists’ work and to the support of contemporary artists, which was a central focus of their lives.”
At the urging of their close friends Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, Brooks and Park spent their first summer on the East End in 1947. They stayed in a tiny bungalow in Montauk. By 1957, they were living full time in the town of East Hampton and had become key members of the artistic community.