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Acquisitions of the Month: June 2016

3 July 2016

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

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Collectors Lisa and John Pritzker have made a major gift of photography to SFMOMA, consisting of 78 works by 25 artists made between 1925 and 2011. Highlights include a 1927 portrait of the writer and photography critic Pierre MacOrlan by modernist André Kertész; Vito Acconci’s conceptual works Step Piece and Waterways: 4 Saliva Studies (both 1971); and examples of American street photography. SFMOMA’s latest haul will enhance an already sizeable collection of 17,800 photographs.

Step Piece

Step Piece (1971), Vito Acconci. © Vito Acconi

Courtauld Gallery, London

The Courtauld Gallery has strengthened its modern collection with the acquisition of a print series by Jasper Johns. The Seasons (1987–89) dates from a period when Johns was preoccupied with the four seasons, producing paintings, drawings and the prints that addressed the theme. The gift of nine prints was made possible by The American Foundation for The Courtauld Institute of Art and was given by Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, the widow of the New York dealer Leo Castelli who was closely associated with the artist.

The Menil Collection, Houston

Museum trustees Janie C. Lee and Louisa Stude Sarofim have made a donation of 110 drawings to the Menil Collection. The museum is currently building the first freestanding facility designed specifically for the exhibition and study of modern and contemporary drawings, so this is a particularly welcome gift. The addition of 15 drawings by Jasper Johns from 1954 to 2012 means the institution now holds one of the most important public collections of the artist’s works on paper. Other important works in the gift include pieces by Arshile Gorky, Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Auerbach, Joseph Beuys and Anselm Kiefer.

Flag on Orange Field

Flag on Orange Field (1957), Jasper Johns.

Nationalmuseum Sweden, Stockholm

A bequest from the Wiros Fund has allowed the Nationalmuseum Sweden to acquire three paintings by artists associated with the Dresden Romantic School. Alongside works by Johan Christian Dahl already in the museum’s collection, the Fantasy of the Alps (1822) by Carl Gustav Carus, Oak and Birch (1832) by Carl Julius von Leypold and Dresden at Sunset (1838) by Knud Baade will enrich the museum’s presentation of this important period of art in northern Europe.

Dresden at Sunset

Dresden at Sunset (1838), Knud Baade. © Anna Danielsson/Nationalmuseum

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

The MCASD’s International Collectors and Contemporary Collectors have voted to acquire works by four artists: the photograph Trapeze Swings, Meschers (1950) by Ellsworth Kelly; Marine Jacket (2012–14) by Kim Jones; House in Kathemiya (2013) by Hayv Kahraman; and a photographic installation comprised of Wallpaper and Rock ‘n’ Roll 70 (2014) by Gillian Wearing. These acquisitions were made possible through the annual dues paid by members of the International Collectors and Contemporary Collectors. Each year, members consider a selection of possible acquisitions put forward by the museum’s curators, and vote on which new works should be bought at the Annual Selection Dinner.

Trapeze Swings, Meschers

Trapeze Swings, Meschers (1950), Ellsworth Kelly. Courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery. © Ellsworth Kelly, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Mauritshuis, The Hague

The Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation has marked the second anniversary of the museum’s reopening by acquiring Roses in a Glass Vase (c. 1640–45) by Jacob van Hulsdonck. The painting has been on loan from a private collection and displayed in the museum as part of an exhibition of flower paintings since May. The Mauritshuis Foundation will now place it on long-term loan to the museum. Roses in a Glass Vase will join works by other flower painters in the museum’s collection, such as Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder and Jan Brueghel the Elder, and will be a welcome addition to one of the few museums in the world that traces the development of the genre from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Roses in a Glass Vase

Roses in a Glass Vase (c. 1640–45), Jacob van Hulsdonck. Acquired by the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation, 2016

National Portrait Gallery, London

The National Portrait Gallery has acquired five photographic portraits of the Duchess of Cambridge, donated by the photographer Josh Olins. The photographs were commissioned for the June 2016 centenary issue of British Vogue as a collaboration between the magazine, the National Portrait Gallery and the Duchess. This acquisition adds to the royal portraiture already held in the gallery, including works by Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson, Lord Snowdon, Patrick Demarchelier and Mario Testino.