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Saint Louis Art Museum announces major gift of nearly 150 European artworks
Rembrandt van Rijn, Christ Preaching (The Hundred Guilder Print), 1648. Etching, drypoint, and engraving on Japanese paper, 11 1/16 x 15 2/5 in. Mark Weil Artwork Trust.

ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum announces that Mark Weil and Phoebe Dent Weil have pledged to the Museum their collection of European art. Collected over the past 25 years, this generous promised gift of paintings, sculpture, drawings and prints will enhance the experience of generations of Museum visitors.

“This gift will transform the Museum’s collection of European art,” said Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin. “The Museum is honored to have worked so closely with Mark and Phoebe and is grateful for the generous commitment of their distinguished collection.”

The nearly 150 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints are predominantly from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands and represent a variety of media. Some particularly noteworthy works are Andrea Mantegna’s Entombment and Albrecht Dürer’s Adam and Eve. There are also outstanding examples of sculpture, such as Benedetto da Maiano’s Saint John the Evangelist, Jacopo Sansovino’s Saint John the Baptist(attributed) and Gianlorenzo Bernini’s Cristo Morto.

The Weil Collection includes many superb prints that were shown in the 2006–2007 exhibition Rembrandt: Master Etchings from St. Louis Collections, and were featured in the accompanying catalogue of the same name. Among these is a stunning impression of Rembrandt’s most famous print, Christ Preaching (“The Hundred Guilder Print”).

Mark Weil is an art historian and former director of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and Phoebe Dent Weil is an art conservator who pioneered the field of sculpture conservation in St. Louis in the 1970s. The works they have collected date from the 15th to 18th century and reflect their professional and personal interests over the years.

A native St. Louisan, Mark grew up a mere three-minute walk from Forest Park. His grandmother, Etta Steinberg, was a Museum Trustee and contributed major works of art which helped lay a prestigious foundation for the Museum’s collection. Both she and Mark’s parents were life-long Museum supporters; his brother, John, has served on the Museum’s Board of Commissioners, most recently as President.

Mark and Phoebe share an excitement about the educational opportunities their collection will provide Art Museum visitors. “We wanted to leave a study collection for the people of St. Louis so they can look at and learn about art from a body of material,” says Mark.

“The Weil collection will expand the Museum’s holdings in sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth-century European sculpture with impressive works of bronze, marble and terracotta,” noted Judith Mann, curator of European art to 1800. “It will also add examples by major figures in the history of sculpture, including Gianlorenzo Bernini, Benedetto da Maiano, and François Duquesnoy.”

The commitment of the Weil Collection continues a legacy of philanthropic giving which has built the Saint Louis Art Museum over 132 years into the internationally-recognized institution it is today.

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