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LACMA Presents Masterworks from Arts and Crafts Movement

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art(LACMA) opens its next exhibition, The Arts and Crafts Movement: Masterworks from the Max Palevsky and Jodie Evans Collection, selected from the promised gift of forty-five decorative arts objects from longtime donor Max Palevsky’s personal collection. Highlights from the exhibition, which will be on view December 12, include furniture, glass, ceramics, and metalwork by key designers and architects at the turn of the last century such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Greene and Greene, Henry Van de Velde, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Due to Mr. Palevsky’s ongoing generosity, LACMA has the most comprehensive collection of the international Arts and Crafts movement in any museum in the United States.

In this showing of his collection, the most important pieces are a desk that architects Greene and Greene made for the Blacker House in Pasadena, considered their most important commission, along with signature designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, such as the “Tree of Life” stained-glass window from the Darwin Martin house, one of his monumental copper urns, and a watercolor presentation drawing of the Little House—all stellar examples of Wright’s organic Prairie style. Key European designers will be represented by a number of pieces, including one of the side chairs that Charles Rennie Mackintosh created for the Argyle Street Tea Rooms in Glasgow, a chair that Henry Van de Velde first designed for his own home outside Brussels, and a jewelry coffer that was produced by Joseph Maria Olbrich when he was the architect for the utopian art colony in Darmstadt, Germany.

“While the Arts and Crafts movement originated in Great Britain, it reached a pinnacle of creativity in California,” said Max Palevsky. “It’s fitting, therefore, that LACMA is the place to tell the story of the movement’s expression both in Europe and the United States, and to highlight California’s unique contribution.”

LACMA is already one of the world’s great repositories of material from the Arts and Crafts movement, thanks to the hundreds of pieces Mr. Palevsky has previously given the museum. In addition, Mr. Palevsky has been a major donor to exhibitions at LACMA, most notably contributing $1 million to support The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America: Design for the Modern World, which opened in December 2004 and traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Mr. Palevsky’s first collecting focus was the American Arts and Crafts movement, which resulted in LACMA’s 1990 exhibition, American Arts and Crafts: Virtue in Design and its accompanying catalogue. When curator and Arts and Crafts scholar Wendy Kaplan joined the museum in 2001, Mr. Palevsky expanded his interest beyond the United States and Britain to include the continent of Europe, collecting Arts and Crafts manifestations in Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Holland, and Norway. Now, thanks to his philanthropy, no other museum in the United States has a larger international Arts and Crafts collection. And the collection continues to grow—a number of generous donations, such as a wrought iron grille by Samuel Yellin and a patinated bowl by Marie Zimmermann, have recently been promised in honor of Palevsky and his extraordinary gifts to LACMA.

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