A round-up of the best works of art to enter public collections recently
Wellcome Collection, London
Portrait of Barbara van Beck (c. 1640s)
Barbara van Beck was a businesswoman and celebrity of her time, captured here in one of the earliest depictions of someone with a condition causing excessive hair growth on the body. The 17th-century portrait will join five existing prints of van Beck in the museum’s collection, and will add to a growing collection of portraits of people past and present living with different medical conditions. The painting will go on display early this year.
Harvard Art Museums
U.S.A. Idioms (2017), Kara Walker
Nearly 12 by 15 feet, this ink and graphite collage by Kara Walker joins the museum from the artist’s acclaimed exhibition at Sikkema Jenkins and Co in autumn 2017. The work was made that summer, drawing on timely issues of racial violence and political conflict.
The Kimbell Art Museum, Forth Worth, Texas
Portrait of the Art Dealer Heinrich Thannhauser (1918), Lovis Corinth
The modern German painter Lovis Corinth is known for the unique style, a merging of impressionism and expressionism, in which he depicted everything from landscapes to still lifes. His portraits and self-portraits are, however, considered among his greatest achievements. This portrait of Heinrich Thannhauser, the founder of the Moderne Galerie in Munich in the early 20th century, remained within the Thannhauser family until it was acquired by the Kimbell.
J. Paul Getty Museum
Photograph collections from Leslie and Judith Schreyer and Michael and Jane Wilson
Two pairs of collectors, Leslie and Judith Schreyer and Michael and Jane Wilson, have each donated a group of photographs to the Getty, together introducing over 100 new works to the museum’s collection. Among these photographs are images by 15 photographers previously unrepresented in the Getty’s collection, as well as well-known artists including Diane Arbus, Leland Rice, and Arthur Leipzig.
Frick Collection, New York
Camillo Borghese (c. 1810), François-Pascal-Simon Gérard
Announced as the museum’s ‘most important painting purchase since 1991’ this full-length portrait is one of the most iconic images of Prince Camillo Borghese – art patron and brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte. Thought to be painted in 1810 by François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, this is one of many works by the artist commissioned by the Bonaparte family. Following conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the painting will go on display at the Frick as part of a major exhibition later in the year.
Pallant House, Chichester
China Dogs in a St Ives Window (1926), Christopher Wood
The painting, considered a key example of Wood’s artistic development in the late 1920s, had been on long-term loan to the gallery from a private collection since 2009. The work now been acquired thanks to a combination of grants from the Art Fund, Arts Council England, the V&A, and public donations. The painting will enhance the gallery’s important collection of Modern British art.