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Acquisitions of the Month: July 2019

9 August 2019

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

Tate, London
5,000 sketches, drawings and commercial artworks from the archives of Ithell Colquhoun

Donated by the National Trust, this extensive body of work by Ithell Colquhoun joins the bequest of occult documents the British Surrealist painter left to the Tate in 1989. Covering Colquhoun’s entire career, including sketchbooks she completed as a child, the archives run the gamut from brief jottings to highly worked watercolours and gouaches. They reveal Colquhoun’s experiments with a wide range of pictorial genres – from architectural drawings to portraits – and Surrealist techniques such as fumage: using a candle to create abstract forms on paper.

Work by Ithell Colquhoun from the uncatalogued archive.

Work by Ithell Colquhoun from the uncatalogued archive. Photo: © Tate

Museum of Modern Art, New York
African contemporary art from the Jean Pigozzi collection

Ahead of MoMA’s reopening in October with a full reinstallation of its permanent collection, the museum has received a gift of 45 African works of art of the last half-century from Jean Pigozzi, whose collection of contemporary African art is believed to be the largest worldwide. Highlights include Alphabet bété (1991–92) by Frédéric Bruly Bouabré – a series of 449 drawings that together comprise a pictographic alphabet for the oral Bété language of the Ivory Coast – as well as works by Congolese artists Chéri Samba and Bodys Isek Kingelez, and photographs by Jean Depara and Seydou Keïta.

Water Problem (2004), Chéri Samba.

Water Problem (2004), Chéri Samba. Museum of Modern Art, New York

Various institutions, UK
Three works by Peter Lanyon

From the estate of Peter Lanyon’s widow, Sheila Lanyon, three works have been allocated to UK institutions under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme. To the Tate goes Clevedon Bandstand (1964): completed shortly before Lanyon’s death, this is one of few extant works in the Cornish artist’s late, pared-back style. Two gouache studies for murals at the universities of Birmingham and Liverpool have also been allocated to the respective institutions.

Sketch for Liverpool University Mural: The Conflict of Man with Tides and Sands (1960), Peter Lanyon.

Sketch for Liverpool University Mural: The Conflict of Man with Tides and Sands (1960), Peter Lanyon. © Peter Lanyon Estate, with thanks to Gimpel Fils

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Objects documenting the Extinction Rebellion movement

Flags used at protests, a digital file of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) logo, and a printed ‘Declaration of Rebellion’ pamphlet from 2018 are among the objects that have been given to the V&A by the activist movement against climate disaster. Currently on display in the museum’s Rapid Response Collecting Gallery, the new acquisitions chart the development of XR’s distinctive design identity.

Woodblock for printing Extinction Rebellion logo.

Woodblock for printing Extinction Rebellion logo. Photo: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images; courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Princeton University Art Museum
Landscape with Three Trees (1643), Rembrandt van Rijn

An impression of Rembrandt’s celebrated, virtuosic landscape etching has been acquired by the Princeton University Art Museum, complementing its collection of some 70 of the 300 prints the Dutch master completed over his lifetime.

Landscape with Three Tress (1643), Rembrandt.

Landscape with Three Trees (1643), Rembrandt van Rijn. Princeton University Art Museum

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