Apollo Magazine

Acquisitions of the month: January 2018

The finest additions to public collections this month include a crop of modern European artworks, from Munch to Mondrian

Beach at Portici (detail; 1874), Mariano Fortuny y Marsal. Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas

Beach at Portici (detail; 1874), Mariano Fortuny y Marsal. Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas

A round-up of the best works of art to enter public collections recently

National Portrait Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts, London
Portraits (16mm colour film, 2016), Tacita Dean

This joint acquisition of Dean’s 16mm film portrait of David Hockney was made in anticipation of the forthcoming collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, and the National Gallery, which will see the three institutions devoting exhibitions to different aspects of Dean’s work. The 16-minute work will be shown as part of the NPG’s exhibition of Dean’s portraits (15 March–28 May), and subsequently displayed on rotation at both the NPG and RA as well as other loan exhibitions. It was purchased with support from the Art Fund and the Deighton Family Foundation.

Portraits (2016), Tacita Dean. Courtesy the artist; Frith Street Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Portrait of Felix Auerbach (1906), Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch’s commissioned portrait of German physicist Felix Auerbach is the only portrait by the Norwegian painter held in a public Dutch collection. The painting was purchased by the Van Gogh Museum to complement the institution’s existing holdings of works by Van Gogh’s Impressionist and post-Impressionist contemporaries. It is currently on display at the museum – the first time the work has been shown in the Netherlands.

Felix Auerbach (1906), Edvard Munch. Courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum

Museum of Modern Art, New York
Around 90 works of contemporary Latin American art from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

This significant gift of around 90 works spanning the years 1967 to 2014, from the collection of MoMA board member Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros – CPPC), encompasses prints, performance, video, and sculpture. The gift, which follows the CPPC’s donation in 2016 of 100 works of modern Latin American art, comprises works by 48 artists from ten Latin American countries. Five other institutions in the Americas and Europe, including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, were also the recipients in January of a number of works from the CPPC.

Leitmotiv (2011), Cinthia Marcelle. Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

British Museum, London
View of the Schmadribach falls above Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland (c. 1794), Joseph Anton Koch

This preparatory study of the Schmadribach Waterfall by Austrian Romantic artist Joseph Anton Koch had previously belonged to the late art critic Brian Sewell. It was relatively unknown until Sewell’s collection came up for sale at Christie’s last year, and it was placed under a temporary export bar. The acquisition was funded by donations from supporters including the Art Fund, Friends of the British Museum, the Tavolozza Foundation, the Wakefield Trust and the Ottley Group. For more on this acquisition, read Mark Evans writing for Apollo here.

View of the Schmadribach falls above Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland (c. 1794), Joseph Anton Koch. © the Trustees of the British Museum

Meadows Museum, Texas
Beach at Portici (1874), Mariano Fortuny y Marsal

The Catalonian artist’s last painting, depicting a summer day at the beach, has been acquired by the Meadows Museum in Dallas, which houses one of the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The painting, in Fortuny’s possession at the time of his death, was in 1875 acquired by Irish-American collector Alexander Turney Stewart, remaining in the Stewart family until now. The work is currently on view at the Meadows Museum.

Beach at Portici (1874), Mariano Fortuny y Marsal. Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas

Canadian Photography Institute (National Gallery of Canada), Ottawa
Photographs by Paul Strand

This gift of 635 photographs by New York-born modernist photographer and filmmaker Paul Strand, spanning his entire career, was made by three anonymous Canadian donors. The acquisition, which adds to the 97 works by Strand already held by the institute, means that the CPI is now the site of the most comprehensive collection of Strand photographs in Canada.

Portrait of a Girl, Gaspé (1936, printed 1950s), Paul Strand. Photo: NGC © Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive

Dallas Museum of Art
A 17th-century Baroque painting and two works of European modernism

The Dallas Museum of Art has acquired three significant works of European art thanks to two separate donations by Thomas C. and Jeanne Campbell and Ann Jacobus Folz. The Campbells donated a recently rediscovered Baroque painting, Zeus and Semele by Jacques Blanchard, while Folz’s gift includes a double-sided charcoal drawing by Mondrian featuring a representational landscape on the recto (Farm Near Duivendrechtand an abstract composition (The Sea (Ocean 2)on the verso, as well as Pierre Bonnard’s Woman with a Lamp (1909).

Woman with a Lamp (1909), Pierre Bonnard. Courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art