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Art Institute of Chicago Inaugurates Dedicated New Galleries for Prints and Drawings
Works from the exhibition are displayed in the brand new Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawings Galleries in the Richard and Mary Gray L. Wing, adjacent to the Goldman Prints and Drawings Study Center.
CHICAGO.- The Art Institute of Chicago will open its brand new dedicated galleries for prints and drawings to the public on June 14, 2008. The Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawings Galleries in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Wing of the Art Institute represent the completion of the first phase of the most ambitious renovation and reinstallation project in the museum’s history.

The Goldman Galleries in the Gray Wing will be devoted to rotating exhibitions of the museum’s vast collection of works on paper, consisting of approximately 70,000 prints and drawings. The new galleries, designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture in Los Angeles, allow for a dynamic and comprehensive display of the department’s holdings and will be inaugurated with the exhibition Collecting for Chicago: Prints, Drawings, and Patronage, featuring works acquired for the Art Institute by various Chicago families.

“The opening of the Goldman Galleries in the Gray Wing and the rededication of specific galleries for our generous donors is not only a milestone for the Department of Prints and Drawings,” said James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute. “It also heralds the rolling opening of all the new and renovated spaces we are busy preparing. The Prints and Drawings Galleries are the first in a series of openings this year that will include a new Asian sculpture court and of course the refurbished galleries for the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections.”

The Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawings Galleries join the state-of-the-art Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawings Study Center, opened in 2002, to complete the facilities for the department. The galleries and study center were established through a generous gift by the Goldmans in 1999.

Mrs. Goldman, a Life Trustee and Governing Member, is a noted art historian with a specialty in Old Master drawings who has published on the topic of 16th- and 17th-century Italian drawings, a cornerstone of the Goldmans’ personal collection. She has lectured at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mr. Goldman is a successful entrepreneur who has also taught law at Northwestern University.

Mrs. Goldman serves on the Committee on Prints and Drawings as well as the Committee on Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture. A member of the Woman’s Board, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Old Masters Society and of the Antiquarian Society. Mr. and Mrs. Goldman are also members of the Print and Drawing Club.

The Department of Prints and Drawings will continue to be represented in the galleries on the second floor of the Allerton building where European and Old Master works on paper have traditionally been installed to complement the museum’s collection of European painting and sculpture. In recognition of Mrs. Anne Searle Bent’s longstanding commitment to the Department of Prints and Drawings and her generous support of the Capital Campaign for the Modern Wing, the ten corridor galleries (207A to 222A), adjacent to the painting, sculpture, and European decorative arts galleries, will be known as the Anne Fuller Searle Galleries.

Mrs. Bent is Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute and Chairman of the Committee on Prints and Drawings. A member of the Executive Committee, as well as the Major Acquisitions and Buildings and Grounds Committees, she is an Honorary Governing Member and a member of the Committee on Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture. The head of the Print and Drawing Club and a member of the Old Masters Society, she has been a Sustaining Fellow of the Art Institute since 1988. Her support for the museum encompasses not only numerous acquisitions but also exhibition and scholarly catalogues, research, and capital contributions.

The opening of the Goldman suite of galleries in the Gray Wing also allows the Art Institute the opportunity to rededicate individual galleries to their respective donors. The museum would like to recognize the contributions of Majorie Blum Kovler, Helen Regenstein, and the family of Warren T. Press, all long-standing supporters of the Department of Prints and Drawings. The Marjorie B. Kovler Gallery, Gallery 124B, was endowed in 1974 by the Blum-Kovler Foundation, in memory of Marjorie Kovler’s long involovement with the Art Institute and her interest in French printmakers in particular. The Helen Regenstein Gallery, Gallery 126, was named by Mrs. Regenstein in 1973 to present her renowned collection of Old Master drawings. The Warren T. Press Memorial Gallery, Gallery 127A, was endowed in 1983 by Dorothy and Alan Press in memory of their son.

In conjunction with the opening of the new Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawings Galleries in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Wing (Galleries 124–127), the Art Institute of Chicago will offer an array of significant acquisitions over the past four decades in the Department of Prints and Drawings. Opening June 14, 2008, Collecting for Chicago: Prints, Drawings, and Patronage was conceived to highlight a selection of works from a number of families who have shown long-standing support of the museum. Offering a broad range of works and reflecting equally broad strategies of collecting and gift-giving, this sample of recent acquisitions represents the role individual taste and vision have played in making the Art Institute’s collection of more than 70,000 prints and drawings one of the best in the world.

“It’s great to be able to inaugurate our beautifully transformed new galleries with a celebration of the kind of patronage for which Chicago is known,” said Mark Pascale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings.

All of the collectors featured here have enjoyed a long association with the museum, including involvement on the Trustees Advisory Committee on Prints and Drawings. They have both given works that they have enjoyed privately and supported acquisitions proposed by the museum with funds given in their name. In all cases, the gifts are reflective of the donors’ tastes.

Beginning in the mid 1960s, Joan and Stanley Freehling started building a collection of German Expressionist prints and drawings, a commitment which carries up to the present with a promised gift of a watercolor by Christian Rohlfs, although along the way, they also became great sponsors of contemporary printmaking in Chicago.

Gifts from Quinn E. Delaney showcase an impressive group of postwar works on paper by innovative American, British, European and South African artists. These works, often on a major scale, suggest important cross-cultural dialogue. In addition to signal images by Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana, for example, the collection includes the pivotal 1967 portfolio Graphics of the Capitalistic Realism, which features works by Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Wolf Vostell, and other young Germans who were influenced by American Pop artists.

Betty Regenstein Hartman has played an important role--along with her late brother Joseph Regenstein, Jr.--in sustaining the growth of the Regenstein Collection of European Drawings established by their mother, Helen Regenstein, a significant group of Old Master drawings for which Chicago is justly famous. On her own, she has been particularly active in building the Art Institute’s holdings of works by self-taught artists such as Martín Ramírez and by African American artists, with iconic images by Elizabeth Catlett and Charles White.

British printmakers and draftsmen, French and Italian Neoclassical artists, and other Old Master and 19th-century French artists are just some of the collecting interests of Mary Adams Young and her late husband, George B. Young. Both shared a deep involvement in all aspects of the museum, volunteering actively for decades and continuing a tradition of philanthropy initiated by her mother, Mary S. Adams.

Dorothy and Alan Press have enjoyed many passions in works of art on paper. Initially enthusiastic about prints by Edvard Munch and the German Expressionists, they built a distinguished collection in that area. As their interests changed, they helped to enrich the department’s holdings of comic and challenging contemporary American works on paper, by such artists as Robert Crumb, Ken Price, Ed Ruscha, and H. C. Westermann.

The Jean and Steven Goldman Prints and Drawings Galleries in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Wing of the Art Institute represent the completion of the first phase of the most ambitious renovation and reinstallation project in the museum’s history. The Goldman Galleries in the Gray Wing will be devoted to rotating exhibitions of the museum’s vast collection of works on paper.






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