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Acquisitions of the month: March 2017

5 April 2017

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

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Nine works by Carl Fabergé and two by 18th-century goldsmith Johann Christian Neuber

This is the second gift the V&A has received under the Cultural Gift Scheme since it was introduced in 2013 to encourage lifetime donations to UK public collections. The group of artefacts includes four rare Fabergé carved animals of remarkable quality from the collection of Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII. There are also two pieces by renowned goldsmith Johann Christian Neuber that were once in King Farouk of Egypt’s collection. All have been donated by Fabergé expert Nicholas Snowman from the Kenneth and Sallie Snowman Collection.

Hissing baboon, chalcedony with rose-cut diamonds eyes, (about 1907), Carl Fabergé. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Hissing baboon, chalcedony with rose-cut diamonds eyes (c. 1907), Carl Fabergé. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Baltimore Museum of Art
Works by Mark Bradford, Paul Chan, Norman Lewis, and Ellsworth Kelly

This significant acquisition includes the first works by Mark Bradford to enter the museum’s collection – coinciding with the BMA’s collaboration with the artist for the US Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. They also add a Norman Lewis abstract painting, a digitally animated installation by Paul Chan, and their first Ellsworth Kelly photograph to their collection.

My Grandmother Felt the Color (2016), Mark Bradford. Photo: Joshua White, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

My Grandmother Felt the Color (2016), Mark Bradford. Photo: Joshua White, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Frank Gehry archives 

The Getty Research Institute has announced the acquisition of a major archive spanning around 30 years of architect Frank Gehry’s career. The archive was obtained partly by gift and partly by purchase, and includes around 1,000 sketches, 120,000 working drawings and 112 presentational models, as well as software, personal papers and other materials.

Model of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, (2003), Frank Gehry. © Frank O. Gehry

Model of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, (2003), Frank Gehry. © Frank O. Gehry

National Gallery of Canada, Ontario
Gift of five paintings by prominent Canadian artists

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the petroleum company Imperial announced that it was donating 43 Canadian paintings to 15 museums across the country. The National Gallery received five last month, by Lawren S. Harris, Paul Peel, Prudence Heward, Kathleen M. Morris, and A.J. Casson. The paintings were briefly displayed as a group for a few days before being integrated into the national collection.

Billboard (Jazz) (1921), Lawren S. Harris. © Family of Lawren S. Harris, Photo: NGC

Billboard (Jazz) (1921), Lawren S. Harris. © Family of Lawren S. Harris, Photo: NGC

Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art
Twenty-two works exploring gender and sexuality from the collection of Alan Hergott and Curt Shepard

Los Angeles collectors Alan Hergott and Curt Shepard have donated 22 works of art to MOCA from their personal collection, which is focused on sexuality and representations of male identity. The donation includes paintings and photographs by Catherine Opie, Doug Aitken, Andreas Gursky, and Lari Pittman among others. In total, the collectors have donated some 40 works to the museum to date.

Always at your service, I will have had learned the exquisite power of etiquette (1999), Lari Pittman. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Always at your service, I will have had learned the exquisite power of etiquette (1999), Lari Pittman. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich
Archival material from the estate of Max Beckmann 

The Bavarian State Painting Collection is home to one of the largest collections of paintings by Beckmann in Europe, as well as the largest specialist library and archive dedicated to the artist. The new additions, donated by the artist’s granddaughter, include autobiographical material such as letters and travel documents, as well as Beckmann’s own personal library comprised of more than 650 volumes, photo albums, and 850 original photographs.

Selection of archival material from the Max Beckmann Bequest. Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Max Beckmann Archiv

Selection of archival material from the Max Beckmann Bequest. Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Max Beckmann Archiv

Dallas Museum of Art
Figure Kneeling Before Arch with Skulls (c. 1934­–38), Jackson Pollock

One of Pollock’s early works, this painting demonstrates his fascination with both Renaissance art (particularly El Greco’s paintings) and the large-scale murals of Mexican modernism – aspects of his career that are now largely overlooked. The oil painting is the fifth piece by the artist to enter the DMA’s collection, and also the earliest, followed by Pollock’s Cathedral from 1947 and one of just six known sculptures by the artist.

Figure Kneeling Before Arch with Skulls (c. 1934–38), Jackson Pollack. © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Figure Kneeling Before Arch with Skulls (c. 1934–38), Jackson Pollack. © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

LUMA Foundation, Arles
Annie Leibovitz archive

More than 8,000 photographs tracing Annie Leibovitz’s early career as a photographer will go on display in LUMA’s space in Arles this May (28 May–24 September), for the first in a series of exhibitions dedicated to the celebrated photographer in honour of the foundation’s recent acquisition of her archives. LUMA’s main building, where the archive will eventually be held, is scheduled to open in 2018.

Photographs from the 'Driving' series. © Annie Leibovitz

Photographs from the ‘Driving’ series. © Annie Leibovitz

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