Our round-up of the best works of art to enter public collections recently
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio
Paula (2014), Jaume Plensa
A monumental cast iron sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa has been purchased by the Toledo Museum of Art. Now on display next to the museum’s Monroe Street terrace, Paula (2014) originally came to the museum as part of the artist’s solo exhibition last year. The portrait of a young girl appears to change depth and proportions when viewed from different angles.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Sunshine in the Drawing Room (1910), Vilhelm Hammershøi
A painting by one of Denmark’s most celebrated artists, Vilhelm Hammershøi, has been added to the European Collection at the National Gallery of Canada. The 1910 work, Sunshine in the Drawing Room, depicts Hammershøi’s own living room and studio in the Copenhagen apartment he shared with his wife for 10 years. The painting has been in a private collection since its creation and is the fourth and final depiction of the room that Hammershøi painted.
National Library of Israel, Jerusalem
The Valmadonna Trust Library collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts
One of the finest private collections of Jewish books and manuscripts has been purchased by the National Library of Israel. The Valmadonna Trust Library, assembled over more than six decades, includes more than 10,000 works that trace the history of Hebrew printing and the dissemination of Jewish culture. The collection will be housed in the library’s new building, which is scheduled to open in 2020.
Cincinnati Art Museum
800 Japanese prints from the Weisman Collection
In one of the largest additions to its permanent collection to date, the Cincinnati Art Museum has acquired 800 rare Japanese prints from the collection of the late Joel Weisman and his wife Bernice. The group of works spans four centuries of printmaking, with the earliest dating from the 17th century. Alongside the prints, the Weismans have also donated extensive reference material to the museum in order to support continued research into Japanese prints and art. Highlights of the collection will go on display in a new special exhibition.
Milwaukee Art Museum
500 works by Jules Chéret
A major group of works by the French artist Jules Chéret (1836–1932) has been gifted to the Milwaukee Art Museum by Susee and James Wiechmann. Regarded by many as the ‘father of the modern poster’, Chéret produced some iconic images of Paris in the late 19th century alongside fellow printmakers and artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard. The 500 works will significantly bolster the museum’s collection of works on paper, and in addition to the gift, the Wiechmanns have underwritten a new curatorial post: Britany Salsbury joints the museum as associated curator of prints and drawings this month.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
The Message of the Forest (1936), Toyen
Toyen (born Marie Čermínová) was a founding member of the Czech Surrealist group and one of the most famous Surrealist artists in Prague. The Message of the Forest (1936) is one of her most celebrated works. The disturbing composition depicts a blue bird with one missing foot, clutching the decapitated head of a young girl in the other. The artwork was acquired with the support of the Walton Fund and Art Fund.