Our round-up of the best works of art to enter public collections recently
Portrait of an Unknown Lady (1650–55), Joan Carlile, plus other acquisitions
Concentrating on expanding their representation of women artists, Tate has purchased a rare painting by British oil portraitist Joan Carlile, now the collection’s earliest work by a female artist. For more details click here. Meanwhile, in anticipation perhaps of Tate Britain’s upcoming ‘Impressionists in London’ exhibition this autumn, a watercolour by James Tissot – a French artist who sought refuge in London during the Franco-Prussian War – and a masterwork of British Impressionism by William Stott of Oldham have also entered the collection. Nor is British contemporary art being neglected: a film by Derek Jarman (Blue, 1993) and two works which Tate originally commissioned, by Mark Wallinger and Susan Philipsz, have all been acquired.
The Frick Collection, New York
Du Paquier Porcelain (c. 1720−40)
In an extremely generous gift from Frick Trustee Melinda Martin Sullivan and her husband Paul Sullivan, the Frick has received 14 exemplary porcelain works produced by the Du Paquier Porcelain Manufactory in Vienna. Amongst these whimsical objects, which date from around 1720 to 1740 (spanning the key years of production for the renowned Viennese manufactory), are included an elephant-shaped wine dispenser and vessels with sculptural handles in the shape of craftsmen and flying fish. The Frick collection has a long history of collecting porcelain, and these important representatives of the European tradition of Eastern-inspired porcelain production will slot in well.
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio
Bust of a Flavian Matron (late 1st century CE)
The Georgia Welles Apollo Society has selected a nearly 2,000-year-old Roman bust for its annual donation to the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Formerly the Apollo Society, the group of donors was renamed this year on the occasion of its 30th anniversary and in honour of the contributions of local patron Georgia Welles.
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
The Borghese-Windsor Cabinet (c. 1620)
Setting a new record for a piece of Roman furniture, a cabinet originally made for Pope Paul V Borghese and once owned by King George IV has been purchased by the Getty for €2.5 million. The 17th-century Italian cabinet is decorated with gilded bronze and silver statuettes and a sumptuous array of inlaid pietre dure (hard stones). Having left the Royal Collection in 1959, the cabinet has until now resided in the Paris townhouse of French collector Robert de Balkany, who died last year.
Nationalmuseum Sweden, Stockholm
Still life with a dead swan, a peacock and a dog next to a foundation (1684), Jan Weenix
Sweden’s Nationalmuseum, which has no acquisitions budget of its own, has nonetheless acquired an exemplary painting by the celebrated Dutch still life and hunting scenes painter Jan Weenix, thanks to donations from several funds. The museum now owns one of Weenix’s early game pieces, which he started making in 1680. The painting joins other works in the museum’s collection formerly belonging to Swedish business and Consul General Karl Bergsten (1869–1953).
Pérez Art Museum Miami
Over 400 language-based artworks from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry
Over 400 artworks drawn from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry in Miami, believed to be the world’s largest collection of language-based art, have entered the Pérez Art Museum, also in Miami (PAMM). As a result of this combined gift and purchase, PAMM now owns the entire contents of the museum’s 2013 exhibition ‘A Human Document’ and a selection of 150 other pieces. Artists represented include Jenny Holzer, Carl Andrew, Guillaume Apollinaire, Stéphane Mallarmé and many others.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Paysage au serpent (Landscape with Snake) (1927), André Masson; The Republic of New Afrika at a Crossroads (2016), Kara Walker; Fervor (2000), Shirin Neshat
A varied group of acquisitions was announced by Cleveland Museum of Art this month. The most significant perhaps is a rare 1927 work by the influential Surrealist exponent of automatic painting André Masson, which demonstrates Masson’s stream-of-consciousness technique. Developing its collection of contemporary art that addresses politically charged issues, the museum has also acquired a large work on paper by Kara Walker, who is celebrated for her artistic explorations of racial inequality, and a photograph by Shirin Neshat that explores gender within post-revolutionary Iran. This last work was purchased in celebration of the museum’s centennial.
Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
Archive of Harmony Hammond
American artist, writer, curator and scholar Harmony Hammond, famed for her contributions to feminist art history, has chosen the Getty Research Institute to house her extensive archive. The acquisition encompasses photographs, source material for Hammond’s art as well as original artworks, personal correspondence, drafts of publications, professional papers, a slide registry devoted to lesbian artists and much more. The Harmony Hammond Archive joins the Research Institute’s growing collection of related artists’ archives that chart the development of feminist and LGBTQ art history, from Carolee Schneemann, Eleanor Antin and Yvonne Rainer to Robert Mapplethorpe.
The Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University
It’s been a prosperous year for the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary and was recently renamed in recognition of a landmark $15 million gift from the philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi. In more good news, the museum has announced multiple modern and contemporary acquisitions through various gifts and bequests, including work by Robert Mapplethorpe, Vik Muniz, Norman Rockwell, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Alex Katz.
The Meadows Museum at SMU Dallas
María Teresa del Castillo (1767−70), Francisco Bayeu y Subías
Previously owned by the aristocratic Villagonzalo collection, until recently the 18th-century Spanish painter Bayeu’s portrait of a young girl was misattributed to Bayeu’s mentor, Anton Raphael Mengs. Recent examination also led to the discovery of an inscription revealing the child’s identity, reflected in the painting’s updated title. Supported by a gift from Barbara and Mike McKenzie, the Meadows Museum – whose mission is to create ‘a small Prado for Texas’ – adds this newly attributed work to its outstanding collection of Spanish art.
The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach
Inaugural acquisitions of work by Ugo Rondinone and Sylvie Fleury
The Bass, whose reopening has unfortunately been postponed until next spring, has just announced some better news: a 10-year acquisitions initiative that will add a major piece of contemporary art to the museum’s collection each year. The inaugural acquisitions are two public sculptures by Swiss artists Ugo Rondinone and Sylvie Fleury (Miami Mountain and Eternity Now).
Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf
More than 200 artworks from Konrad and Dorothee Fischer’s private collection
An exhibition which opened on 24 September at the K20 art museum in Düsseldorf celebrates the acquisition by Düsseldorf’s state museums of over 200 installations, paintings, drawings, sculptures and designs from the art collection of the late gallerists Dorothee and Konrad Fischer. This combined gift and purchase features work by some of the 20th century’s greatest minimal and conceptual artists, whose work the Fischers promoted, including Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman and Sol LeWitt.
‘She changed how we encounter sculpture’ – remembering Phyllida Barlow (1944–2023)