ATLANTA, GA.- The High Museum of Art
will host its first ever Collectors Evening on Saturday, January 30th. The event, created to build and improve the Museums permanent collection, invites guests to take an active role in choosing the next work of art to join the collection. During the evening, each of the Highs seven curators will present a work of art as a potential new acquisition for their collection. Guests will then cast their votes and the High will purchase the work of art that receives the most votes. The event is open to the general public; tickets and more information including curator videos are available online at www.High.org/CollectorsEvening
. To view the objects and related videos click on Browse Proposed Acquisitions and Curator Videos.
The Collectors Evening provides an exclusive opportunity to help the Museum build its permanent collection while having fun and meeting other collectors, said David Brenneman, Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Frances B. Bunzl Family Curator of European Art. Attendees will participate in the Museums acquisitions process by voting on which works the High will purchase for its permanent collection. Were very excited about this new event and look forward to finding out which works will be chosen.
This years proposed acquisitions for the Collectors Evening include the following:
The proposed work from the African art department is Nadi (ca. 18501925), a commemorative stone sculpture measuring 21½ inches high. It comes from the region of the great Kingdom of the Kongo, founded along the coast of central Africa in the 14th-century. The sculptures asymmetrical posture, with its legs crossed and its palm on its cheek, is iconic. In Kongo culture, the gesture of the hand to the cheek is associated with reflection and discretion or, moreover, deep sadness and desolation. All of the ateliers that produced sculptures in steatite (soapstone) like this one, called mintadi, disappeared by the mid-20th-century. The acquisition of this work will help build strength in Kongo art for the Highs collection of African art. Approximately 40% of all peoples of African ancestry in the Americas come from Kongo and Kongo-influenced regions of central Africa .
William Mason Browns Red Raspberries (ca. 1866) is the proposed acquisition for the American art collection. The oil painting, measuring 6½ x 7½ inches, shows Brown at his best as a painter of traditional still-life subjects within a naturalistic setting. A disciple of the British art critic and theorist John Ruskin, Brown pursued subjects such as fruits and flowers, with raspberries being one of his specialties. Due to their blood-red color and highly perishable constitution when exposed to natural forces and time, raspberries served as a visual metaphor for the fragility of life. As the first example of a still life made in the popular Ruskinian style to enter the Highs collection, Red Raspberries will provide an important context for the Museums holdings of period still lifes by such artists as Decker, Hardy, Harnett, Oakey, Chase and a later work by Brown.
Decorative Arts and Design
The proposed work from the decorative arts and design department is a round-back chair and table from the Sketch Furniture series (2005) from Stockholm s Front Design. The four members of Front DesignAnna Lindgren, Katja Pettersson, Sofia Lagerkvist and Charlotte von der Lanckenare internationally recognized for their innovations in furniture, ceramics, glass, lighting, textiles and interiors. Their Sketch Furniture series was introduced at Design.05 Miami in 2005, and was subsequently exhibited at Design Museum, London; Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York. The unusual, lively furniture forms capture the dynamic quality of freehand drawings by using computer-aided design technology. A three-minute video clip of the design process will accompany the display of the work. Front Design has been awarded Designer of the Future at Design Miami/Basel, Switzerland , in 2007 and Designer of the Year at IMM Cologne, Germany, in 2010. The addition of this work will significantly enhance the Highs growing collection of contemporary design.
Thomas Rowlandsons pen-and-ink The City Chop House (1775) is the proposed acquisition for the Highs European art collection. Rowlandson is known for being a brilliant draughtsman and perhaps the greatest caricature artist of his time. He began showing his work at the annual exhibition of the Royal Academy in 1775, the year that this drawing was made. He carefully studied the drawing style of his mentor John Hamilton Mortimer, but his fluid, expressive handling of the pen and the manner in which he applied different shades of ink washes to build his compositions are unique to Rowlandson. This depiction of a raucous meal at a chop house, probably in London , also shows Rowlandsons unparalleled ability to poke fun at his contemporaries. The comically grotesque faces of some the figures derive from the artists study of Leonardo da Vincis drawings of ugly men and women. Although this work is from very early in Rowlandsons career, it possesses all of the qualities that made him great. If acquired, this would be the first work by Rowlandson to enter the Highs permanent collection and would significantly strengthen the existing collection of more than 50 British drawings and watercolors by such artists as Thomas Gainsborough, George Romney and John Flaxman.
Cuban-American Felipe Jesus Consalvoss mixed-media collage Fictional Aspects of a Fact (ca. 19201950) is the proposed acquisition for the folk art collection. Using readymade materials, Consalvos, a Cuban-American cigar roller, combined familiar images from pop culture to create witty, sophisticated compositions that make fun of politics and cultural sacred cows like marriage and death. Playing with image and text while employing visual puns and double entendres, he produced beautiful objects that are brilliantly colored, conceived and composed. This spectacular large-scale collage demonstrates how Consalvos propelled the early-20th-century homemakers craft of cigar band collages into the territory of such modernists as Max Ernst, Hannah Höch and John Heartfield. Political symbols, advertising images and old family photographs are woven together to create an intricate netting dominated by the image of a smiling, blue-eyed skeleton. Text clippings comment on nearby icons, adding another layer of meaning and reconfiguring relationships between images. Acquiring this work would boost the Highs holdings of folk art by Latino artists and join the many artists in the Highs folk art collection, which includes works by William Hawkins, Howard Finster and Charles Dellschau, among others.
Modern and Contemporary Art
The proposed work from the modern and contemporary art department is Kehinde Wileys painting Thiogo Gliveira do Rosario Rozendo (2009), which measures 48 x 36 inches. The Los Angeles native and New York-based artist is known for his reinterpretation of classical portraits featuring young African-American men. Wileys vibrant, larger-than-life paintings depict his subjects as contemporary heroes and warriors, blending the visual rhetoric of traditional portrait paintings with Western urban aesthetics. Wileys models wear their everyday clothingtypically, hip hop-inspired oversized jeans, t-shirts and jewelryand assume poses taken from paintings and sculptures representative of the history of their surroundings. Thiogo Gliveira do Rosario Rozendo is part of the most recent series of paintings created in Rio de Janeiro , in which young men from the favelas (slums) pose as figures from public sculptures found throughout the city. Focusing on the historical depiction of Afro-Brazilians (who are descendants of African slaves), Wiley brings to light the continued economic challenges and social marginalization of a race that comprises the majority of the citys labor force. Wileys work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center , UCLA Hammer Museum and many other important public collections. Thiogo Gliveira do Rosario Rozendo would be the first work by Wiley to enter the Highs collection.
The photography department has proposed an acquisition of twenty photographs by photographer Paul Fusco from "The Robert F. Kennedy Funeral Train" (1968). On June 8, 1968, Robert Kennedys body was transported by train to Washington , D.C. , for burial at Arlington Cemetery . On board the train was Paul Fusco, a photojournalist on assignment for 'LOOK' magazine. As the train made its way down the Eastern Seaboard, thousands of mourners came out to line the railway tracks and pay their final respects. Fusco documented the mourners, taking approximately 2,000 pictures during the eight-hour train journey. Fuscos photographs simultaneously tell individual stories while capturing the collective emotion of the American public. Unfortunately, Fuscos photographs were never published by 'LOOK', and the magazine folded three years later. Fusco was able to retain 200 of the pictures, but the rest were donated to the Library of Congress along with LOOKs photographic archives. The portfolio remained unpublished until 1998, when it was featured in 'GEORGE' magazine to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Kennedys death. The images have since been published in two separate books and have been exhibited internationally. This portfolio of 20 cibachrome prints is part of a limited edition of 15 sets that have been made expressly for museums. It will be the first work by Paul Fusco to enter the Highs collection, where it will complement the Museums prominent archive of more than 300 photographs that document pivotal events of the civil rights era.