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Acquisitions of the month: July 2016

4 August 2016

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

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago have strengthened their Italian High Renaissance collection with the acquisition of Christ Carrying the Cross (1515–17) by Sebastiano del Piombo. Unearthed by the London-based art gallery Colnaghi, this is the first major work by Sebastiano to have been discovered in recent years. A number of the museum’s donors helped raise the funds for the acquisition, which is also the first work by the artist to enter the museum’s collection.

Christ Carrying the Cross

Christ carrying the Cross (1515–17), Sebastiano del Piombo. Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago

Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

Through the securing of over £2 million of funding from the Art Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a number of private donors, the Bowes Museum have acquired the 15th-century Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, attributed to the workshop of Dieric Bouts the Elder. The uncommon subject matter and its close association with Bouts makes it an extremely rare painting. The Bowes Museum made the acquisition after the UK Government placed a temporary export ban on the work in November 2015.

Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child

Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child (c.1435-40), attributed to the workshop of Dieric Bouts the Elder. Courtesy of the Bowes Museum

Landmarks at the University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s public art programme, Landmarks, has acquired two new works: Spiral of the Galaxy (2013) by Marc Quinn and Anne Hamilton’s community-based photography project ONEEVERYONE (to be completed in January 2017). The acquisitions will be displayed at the University’s Dell Medical School, and will join works by Michael Ray Charles, Mark di Suvero, David Ellis, and Sol LeWitt among others that are also on view across the main campus. A per cent-for-art allocation, which puts aside one-to-two per cent of capital improvement projects for the acquisition of public art, funded the purchase.

Spiral of the Galaxy

Spiral of the Galaxy (2013), Mark Quinn. © Prudence Cuming Associates

Norton Museum of Art, Florida

The Norton Museum of Art has announced its purchase of Super Blue Omo (2016) by the Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby at the recent Art Basel fair. This is the most recent work by the 2016 winner of the Prix Canson, an annual award for works on paper. Crosby’s work joins the Norton Museum’s string of recent acquisitions of works by important women artists, including Marguerite Thompson Zorach, and Grace Hartigan. The generosity of museum trustee Irene Karp and her husband Jim made its purchase possible.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Eight paintings by contemporary Aboriginal Australian artists join The Met’s Modern and Contemporary Art collection. The works were a promised gift from the collection of Robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi, who have been collecting and studying Aboriginal art for over 20 years. The acquisitions dates from 1991 to 2011 and include works by Kathleen Petyarre, Doreen Reid Nakamarra, Dorothy Napangardi, Ena Gimme Nungurrayi, Lena Nyadbi, Abie Loy Kemarre and Gunyi Ganambarr.

Rockwell Museum, New York

The Rockwell Museum has acquired Richard Parrish’s Water-Line, which will be installed in the newly designed Modern and Contemporary gallery. This aerial glass landscape, which continues Parrish’s series of ‘mapping’ America, came from his debut solo exhibition at the Rockwell Museum in 2015.


Water-Line (2015), Richard Parrish. Courtesy of The Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The L.A. print workshop Gemini G.E.L. has arranged for 39 of its serial prints to be gifted to LACMA. The bequest includes prints by Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and Frank Stella. Thirty of the prints came from Gemini, while Lichtenstein’s widow Dorothy Lichtenstein and Gemini’s co-founder Sidney Felsen and his wife Joni Weyl gave the rest. Both LACMA and Gemini were founded 50 years ago and this acquisition highlights their shared histories.

Reclining Nude

Reclining Nude (1980), Roy Lichtenstein. © 1980 Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/Gemini G.E.L.
 Photo courtesy Gemini G.E.L.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Collectors Jacqueline and Jonathan Gestetner have made a gift of over 360 paper peershows, along with other optical wonders, to the V&A Museum. These pocket-sized souvenirs resemble stage sets, which offer viewers a peek into famous places, fantasy worlds, or historical events. This is the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of paper peepshows. The Gestetners donated their collection under the Cultural Gifts Scheme, which the Government introduced in 2013 to encourage giving to UK public collections.

Masquerade/Haymarket, published by S. & J. Fuller

Masquerade/Haymarket, published by S. & J. Fuller (c. 1826), British. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Photograph: Dennis Crompton

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas

Through the support of the Kaleta A. Doolin Acquisitions Fund for Women Artists, the Nasher has purchased a group of works by the Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta. The acquisition includes sculpture, photography and video, providing a thorough representation of the artist’s work across different mediums. It will also enhance the museum’s collection of performance art (documented by photography and film), and works by women artists.

Silhueta Sangrienta (Bleeding Silhouette)

Silhueta Sangrienta (Bleeding Silhouette) (1975), Ana Mendieta. Courtesy Nasher Sculpture Center