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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Receives Works of Contemporary Art from the Chaney Family Coll.
Chiho Aoshima, Still from City Glow (detail), 2005, Animated film on DVD, ed. 4/5, MFAH; Gift of Jereann and Holland Chaney in memory of Robert H. Chaney. Animation in collaboration with Bruce Ferguson. ©2006 Chiho Aoshima/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy of Blum and Poe, Los Angeles / Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris & Miami.

HOUSTON, TX.- Eight major works by seven leading international contemporary artists will become part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston permanent collection as a result of a landmark acquisition from The Chaney Family Collection, the museum announced today. Led by his wife, Jereann, and daughter, Holland, the initiative gives tribute to the memory of the late Robert H. Chaney, a longtime and generous supporter of the MFAH, who died in October. In addition to the donation of two major works by Damien Hirst and Chiho Aoshima, the MFAH has purchased six works with funds provided by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund.

“Robert and I began the planning of this gift before his passing,” said Jereann Chaney. “In his memory, Holland and I wished to complete it. As a family, we enjoyed many wonderful experiences with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The museum afforded Robert and me the opportunity, with two wonderful shows, to share our passion with others for the new, cutting-edge contemporary arts. It also allowed us to work and learn from a truly outstanding director in Peter Marzio, as well as the dedicated and talented curators and administrators in the museum. With this gift, our family wishes to express our appreciation for such a fine institution and to say thank you.”

The two works donated by Jereann and Holland Chaney in memory of Robert H. Chaney are: Damien Hirst’s iconic End Game (2004) and Chiho Aoshima’s groundbreaking video installation City Glow (2005). In response to these gifts, MFAH director Peter C. Marzio commented: “Robert Chaney always challenged us to regard the world afresh. He constantly looked towards new frontiers in contemporary art, and was unstinting in his enthusiasm for emerging talent. At the same time, he held a profound respect for the history of art. He was an inspiration to our curators, generous to colleagues, and a true friend. I am profoundly grateful to his family in allowing us to pay tribute to Robert’s memory with this truly extraordinary legacy.”

In addition to receiving this gift, the MFAH has contributed to Robert Chaney’s legacy at the museum through the purchase of six additional works that reflect the wide-ranging sweep across nations and media that defines the Chaney Family Collection. All but one of the six works was featured in the breakthrough exhibitions that the MFAH undertook with the Chaney family to bring new perspectives to Houston: RED HOT – Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection (2007) and END GAME – British Contemporary Art from the Chaney Family Collection (2008).

“Robert Chaney had a wonderful eye and true ability to cross traditional boundaries in the visual arts; he encouraged the museum’s contemporary curators to think laterally as well,” commented Alison de Lima Greene, MFAH curator for contemporary art and special projects, who coordinated the RED HOT and END GAME exhibitions. “Individually, each of these works is a masterpiece. Taken as a whole, this assembly transforms the museum’s holdings, while preserving the Chaney Family Collection’s global view and uncompromising devotion to excellence.”

About the Chaney Family Collection - The Chaney family of Houston has assembled one of this country’s foremost collections of the art and technology of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Among the collection’s strengths is its generous representation of today’s preeminent Asian artists, exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2007, in the exhibition RED HOT – Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection. In addition to the body of over 120 works and 66 artists comprising the RED HOT exhibition, the Chaney Family Collection also features work from the revolutionary Young British Artists (YBA) group of the 1990s, including 21 major works by 13 artists and artists’ collectives. The family’s collection of these core holdings of YBA masterpieces, assembled over the past decade, was presented by the MFAH in the 2008 exhibition END GAME – British Contemporary Art from the Chaney Family Collection.

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