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Los Angeles County Museum of Art collector's committee makes seven acquisitions
Robert Rauschenberg, Currents, 1970. Gift of the 2012 Collectors Committee, with additional funds provided by Gail and Tony Ganz. ©Robert Rauschenberg Estate/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo courtesy Peter Freeman Inc. New York, photo by Jerry Mathiason.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- LACMA announced the acquisition of seven artworks through the museum’s annual Collectors Committee gala fundraiser on Saturday, April 21, including Robert Rauschenberg’s 1970 large-scale screenprint Currents, German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer’s engraving Saint Jerome in His Study, a Louis Sullivan—designed elevator surround from the Chicago Stock Exchange Building, and more.

Chaired by LACMA trustee Ann Colgin, Collectors Committee Weekend is one of the museum’s biggest fundraising events each year. All told, the seventy-nine members of the 2012 Collectors Committee raised $2.8 million for art acquisitions.

Before members could vote to acquire artworks using their membership dues, LACMA trustee Jamie McCourt purchased Speechless, from artist Shirin Neshat’s seminal 1993–97 series Women of Allah, for the museum. Later in the evening, Bruce Conner’s three-channel video work Three Screen Ray was purchased for the museum by Brad and Colleen Bell, Victoria Jackson and Bill Guthy, Jane and Marc Nathanson, and Steve Tisch. Collectors Committee members Irene Christopher and Scott M. Delman each generously contributed funds to a twelfth-century Japanese Buddhist sculpture known as Fudō Myōō: The Indomitable Foe of Evil. Two paintings by eighteenth-century New Spanish painter Nicolás Enríquez were acquired in part through funds donated by Kelvin Davis, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Kathy and Frank Baxter, Beth and Joshua Friedman, and Jane and Terry Semel. Additional funds were contributed by Gail and Tony Ganz toward the Robert Rauschenberg artwork, and by Philippa Calnan toward the Albrecht Dürer engraving.

“Over twenty-seven years, Collectors Committee has made a tremendous impact on LACMA’s collection,” said LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan. “This weekend’s acquisition of seven incredible artworks builds on that legacy. We are grateful to the efforts of Ann Colgin, serving as Chair of the Collectors Committee for the fourth consecutive year, and to Lynda Resnick, Chair of the museum’s Acquisitions Committee, for their passionate dedication to helping LACMA grow its collection.”

Speaking about the acquisition of Shirin Neshat’s Speechless, Govan added, “I am grateful to Jamie McCourt for her generous purchase of Speechless for the museum, which adds an important work to our collection by one of the most noteworthy artists of our times. I know that the acquisition of this artwork is very much in the spirit of her values — it is a strong statement for women artists and is politically and socially relevant to the current day.”

The 2012 Collectors Committee Weekend began on Friday, April 20, with exclusive dinners for Collectors Committee members in the homes of eight LACMA trustees, each prepared by celebrity chefs and paired with wines presented by renowned California vintners. On Saturday, LACMA curators presented artworks proposed for acquisition; at the annual Collectors Committee Gala on Saturday night, members enjoyed a dinner prepared by chef Joachim Splichal (Patina) and voted on which artworks to acquire.

“Collectors Committee Weekend is one of the most thrilling weekends of the year,” said Ann Colgin. “Not only do its members get to enjoy fabulous dinners thanks to the world-class chefs and vintners who donate their time and talents, but we also have the opportunity to admire and support the incredible scholarship of LACMA’s curators. I couldn’t be happier to see these objects come into LACMA’s permanent holdings.”

Funds for the acquisitions were raised by Collectors Committee membership dues; additional funds were raised by a live auction held during the gala. LACMA trustee Suzanne Kayne chaired this year’s auction, while fellow trustee Viveca Paulin-Ferrell served as auctioneer.

Since 1986, the Collectors Committee has yielded 184 acquisitions through the generous donations of its members, with nearly $26 million raised over its twenty-seven year history.

Acquired Artworks
Artworks acquired through the 2012 Collectors Committee:

• Bruce Conner’s Three Screen Ray (1961/2006), a three-channel video based on the artist’s second film, Cosmic Ray of 1961, including fast-paced montages of the artist’s original footage juxtaposed with hundreds of images.

• German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dϋrer’s Saint Jerome in His Study (1514), a meticulous print engraving depicting the scholarly and spiritual reflections of Saint Jerome.

• Two oil-on-copper paintings by distinguished eighteenth-century New Spanish (Mexican) painter Nicolás Enríquez’ — The Marriage of the Virgin (1749) and The Adoration of the Kings with Donor (1741), each depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin.

• Shirin Neshat’s Speechless (1996), from the photography series Women of Allah, is a black-and-white photograph capturing the intense gaze of an Iranian woman whose face is covered with an inscription from a Persian poem.

• Robert Rauschenberg’s Currents (1970), a dense collage of newspaper clippings strewn across a sixty-foot expanse.

• An Elevator Surround from the Chicago Stock Exchange Building designed by renowned architect Louis Sullivan; the richly detailed iron frame demonstrates Sullivan’s creative adaption of natural materials.

• Fudō Myōō: The Indomitable Foe of Evil, a rare twelfth-century Buddhist sculpture carved from one solid block of Zelkova wood.

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