Apollo Magazine

Shortlist: Acquisition of the Year

Some of the most noteworthy additions to museum collections

New acquisitions can significantly enhance museum collections, but the majority are not widely reported – certainly less so than the rare occasions when institutions deaccession work. The Apollo Acquisition of the Year Award recognises some of the most noteworthy additions. The winner will be announced in the December issue of Apollo. Find out more about the Apollo Awards 2014.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Statuette of the Scribe Seneb c. 1938–1850 BC

Egyptian, early 12th dynasty

Painted wood, ht 27.6cm
Acquired through donations and a fundraising effort led by the Ancient Art Council

Israel Museum, Jerusalem
A Hoard at the Foot of the Temple Mount, early 7th century CE
Israel, Byzantine period

Pictured: Medallion decorated with a menorah, shofar, and an enigmatic symbol – myrtle branches or a Torah scroll
Gold, diam. 10cm
For permanent display at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Excavated by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Musée de Cluny, Paris

Ivoire de Trébizonde, early 6th century

Attr. to Constantinople

Ivory plaque, ht 21.5cm
Acquired with funds from the Banque de France

Freer and Sackler Galleries, Museums of Ancient Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Collection of 18 Buddhist Sutras and a Sutra Container, 8th–12th century Japan

Pictured: Nara period Sutra, 8th century
Gold on purple-dyed paper with silver ruling, 25.4×51.4cm
Gift of Sylvan Barnet and William Burto

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Crucifixion of Christ, c. 1440–50

Jan Van Eyck or workshop

Goldpoint and silverpoint, pen and black ink on prepared paper, 25.4×18.7cm
Purchased with the support of Vereniging Rembrandt (with thanks to the Dura Fonds), Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Mondriaan Fonds, VsB Fonds 2014

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Vetro a reticello charger, c. 1600


Glass, diam. 34.5cm
Gift of funds from Beverly N. Grossman

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, c. 1616–18

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1652/3)

Oil on canvas, 77.5×71.8cm
Purchased with funds provided by the Charles H. Schwartz Fund for European Art

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The Concert, 1623

Gerrit van Honthorst (1592–1656)

Oil on canvas, 123×206cm
Purchased with funds from the Patrons’ Permanent Fund and the Florian Carr Fund

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Rembrandt Laughing, c. 1628

Rembrandt Harmensz. Van Rijn (1606–69)

Oil on copper, 22.2×16.8cm
Purchased with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust

National Portrait Gallery, London

Self-Portrait, 1640–41

Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)

Oil on canvas, 59.7×47.3cm
Purchased with funds from the National Portrait Gallery, the Art Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, private trusts and a public appeal

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Everhard Jabach (1618–95) and His Family, c. 1660

Charles le Brun (1616–90)

Oil on canvas, 280×328cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, 2014

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Wooded Landscape with Merrymakers in a Cart, c. 1665

Meindert Hobbema (1638–1709)

Oil on canvas, 90.5×109.8cm
Gift from the W. Baron van Dedem Collection, Richmond

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

The Virgin of Sorrows (Mater Dolorosa), c. 1670–75

Pedro de Mena (1628–88)

Polychrome wood, human hair and glass, ht 33.6cm
Acquired with the support of the Art Fund, the Henry Moore Foundation and a public appeal

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Pilgrimage to Mt Shatrunjaya, 17th–18th century

West India, Rajasthan or Gujarat

Colour on cloth, 24.4×18.3cm
Gift of Dr Narendra and Rita Parson

Musée du Louvre, Paris

Two pots à oille with trays from the Walpole Service, 1726–27

Nicolas Besnier (active 1714–54)

Silver, chased and engraved, pots à oille: ht 38cm; trays: diam. 45cm
Acquired with the support of The Society of Friends of the Louvre

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

The Kongouro from New Holland (The Kangaroo), 1772

George Stubbs (1724–1806)

Oil paint on two panels, 60.5×71.5cm
Purchased with funds from the Art Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Monument Trust, the Eyal Ofer Family Foundation and public donations

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

Elephants Fighting, 1784–88

Johann Joseph Zoffany (1733–1810)

Black, white and red chalk on blue laid paper 23×41.5cm
Acquired through the Paul Mellon Fund

Wedgwood Museum, Barlaston

Wedgwood Collection, 18th–20th century


Pictured: Brewster shape teapot in white jasper with pale green dip, 1785–90
Ceramic, unglazed
Purchased by the Art Fund following public and private donations; gifted to the Victoria and Albert Museum and placed on long-term loan to the Wedgwood Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Medal Cabinet, c. 1810

Design attrib. to Charles Percier (1764–1838)

Oak, mahogany, silver, ht 88.2cm
Purchased with funds from the Art Fund, the Friends of the Victoria and Albert Museum and other organisations and individuals

Fabergé Museum, Baden

An Italian Empire ormolu guéridon, c. 1814–15

Attrib. to Wilhelm Hopfgarten and Benjamin Ludwig Jollage

Ormolu base with a granite top, ht 94cm
Acquired with museum funds

Meadows Museum, Dallas

Portrait of Mariano Goya, the Artist’s Grandson, 1827

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828)

Oil on canvas, 52.1×41.3cm
Purchased with funds donated by the Meadows Foundation and a gift from Mrs Eugene McDermott

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Baptism on the Ouse River by Rev. Henry Dowling, 1838

John Glover (1767–1849)

Oil on canvas, 76.2×114.3cm
Donation from M.J.M. Carter, AO through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation

National Gallery, London

Head of a Peasant Woman, c. 1884/5

Vincent van Gogh (1853–90)

Oil on canvas, 40.3×30.5cm
Accepted under the Cultural Gifts Scheme by HM Government and allocated to the National Gallery

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Green Wheat Fields, Auvers, 1890

Vincent van Gogh (1853–90)

Oil on canvas, 72.4×91.4cm
Gift of Mr and Mrs Paul Mellon

Musée du quai Branly, Paris

Female Dogon sculpture, late 19th/early 20th century


Wood, iron, copper alloy, glass beads, ht 69cm
Gift from the Friends of the Musée du quai Branly

Dallas Museum of Art

Songye ‘four-horn’ community power figure (nkishi)

Late 19th/early 20th century

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Three antelope horns and one domestic goat horn, antelope and African civet hides, wood, copper, metal, fibre, beads, organic materials, ht 55.9cm
Purchased with funds from the Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.

Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Stable at Cuenca, 1903

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925)

Oil on canvas, 57.2×72.1cm
Museum purchase made possible by the American Art Forum, and through the Catherine Walden Myer and Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen endowments

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Christ and Mary Magdalene, 1908

Auguste Rodin (1840–1917)

Marble, ht 109.2cm
Purchased with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust

National Gallery, London

Men of the Docks, 1912

George Bellows (1882–1925)

Oil on canvas, 114.3×161.3cm
Purchased with a grant from the American Friends of the National Gallery, made possible by Sir Paul Getty’s Fund, and by private appeal

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Self-Portrait, 1915

Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956)

Oil on canvas, 100.3×80cm
Purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund
© DACS 2014

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The Sullivan Collection of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art


Bequest of professor Michael Sullivan

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Tote, 1963

Gerhard Richter (b. 1932)

Oil on canvas, 101×151.1cm
The Sidney and Harriet Janis collection (by exchange)
© 2014 Gerhard Richter

The Morgan Library and Museum, New York

Twenty-one sketchbooks and two early drawings by Roy Lichtenstein

Mid 1960s–1997

Pictured: Drawing for Nude with Blue Hair, drawing from a 1993 sketchbook
Roy Lichtenstein (1923–97)
Graphite and coloured pencils on paper, 10.5×6.7cm
Gift from the Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Seattle Art Museum

Wright Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, 1950–present

Pictured: Blue Green Red II, 1965
Ellsworth Kelly (b. 1923)
Oil on canvas, 223.5×259.1cm
Gift from the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection
© Ellsworth Kelly

Blanton Museum of Art, Austin

Approx. 120 works from the Tate Collection of Latin American Art

Late 20th/early 21st century

Pictured: Cobalt Rhombus, 1968
Jesus Rafael Soto (1923–2004)
Paint on wood mounted to fibreboard with metal and monofilament, 141×141×24.9cm
Gift of Judy S. and Charles W. Tate
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University

Andy Warhol’s archive of 3,600 contact sheets and negatives, 1976–87

Pictured: contact sheet (Andy Warhol, unidentified men, street scenes), 1982
Gelatin silver print
Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Tate Collection, London

Three paintings and five sculptures by Cy Twombly

Pictured: Untitled (Bacchus), 2006–08
Cy Twombly (1928–2011)
Acrylic on canvas, 300×465cm
Gift of the Cy Twombly Foundation
© The Estate of Cy Twombly

The Apollo Awards 2014 

Which would you choose as the Acquisition of the Year? Let us know in the comments…

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