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Sister Gertrude Morgan, God’s Greatest Hits, ca. 1970. Courtesy of Gordon W. Bailey.

Pérez Art Museum Miami Gifted Forty-Six Works from Collector Gordon W. Bailey

The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has received a donation of forty-six artworks from Los Angeles–based collector and scholar Gordon W. Bailey. Included in the gift are drawings, paintings, and sculptures by a number of artists from the southern United States, such as Thornton Dial, Sam Doyle, Lonnie Holley, Clementine Hunter, Herbert Singleton, Sister Gertrude Morgan, and Purvis Young. The works join fourteen pieces that Bailey gave to the institution in 2016.

“Because of the sustaining generosity of Mr. Pérez and Franklin’s leadership, PAMM is establishing a reputation as one of America’s most progressive museums,” said Bailey. “The museum’s expanding collection reflects its vibrant home city, host of the internationally-acclaimed Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami, and adds to its presence as a dynamic cultural center.”

Museum director Franklin Sirmans previously curated an exhibition featuring a selection of works from Bailey’s collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where he served as department head and curator of contemporary art from 2010 until 2015, as well as a group show with pieces loaned by Bailey while he was artistic director of “New Orleans’s Prospect.3: Notes for Now.”

Commenting on the donation, Sirmans said: “I am thankful for Gordon’s friendship, scholarship, and leadership in the discussion about these very important artists and grateful for his generous patronage that has brought the works of many of these artists to museum collections around the country, and especially for this significant gift to Miami. His gifts allow PAMM’s permanent collection to present new expansive art historical narratives that are inclusive of artists who maintained a practice and produced work outside of the art-world ecosystem.”

Among the highlights from the gift are a roughly eight-foot reclaimed-oak door that was carved and painted by Singleton; a 1970 mixed-media work by Morgan that was created on the frontispiece of God’s Greatest Hits, a book of Bible verses; and a piece that Hunter made when she was in her nineties. “What Carried Us Over: Gifts from Gordon W. Bailey,” an exhibition organized by PAMM’s curatorial staff, is slated to open in September.

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