The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, August 19, 2019

Vast trove of photographs rescued and preserved by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation
Robert Rauschenberg, artist's studio, Lafayette Street, NY, 1968. Photo: Shunk-Kender © Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

NEW YORK, NY.- Dorothy Lichtenstein, President, and Jack Cowart, Executive Director of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation today announced that the Foundation is giving approximately 200,000 black and white prints, color prints, negatives, contact sheets and color transparencies and slides from its invaluable Harry Shunk and Shunk-Kender Photography Collection to five major institutions, making permanently accessible an unmatched record of an entire era in the visual arts. The donation is the first of its kind, establishing a consortium among the institutions that will both receive and share the materials—the Getty Research Institute, The Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, Centre Pompidou and Tate—and is notable for spanning the Atlantic, as did the careers of the photographers themselves.

The collaboration of Shunk-Kender (Harry Shunk and János Kender), based first in Paris and later in New York, took the core group of photographs from 1958 to 1973. The collections also include photographs taken by Shunk alone in earlier and later years. These images offer a sometimes intimate and sometimes formal view of more than 400 prominent artists in their studios, at events such as openings and in the midst of their performances. They provide an historic document of the artworks of the period in the context in which they were first shown and are often irreplaceable as the only existing record of ephemeral artworks and actions. In some cases—such as the celebrated Shunk-Kender image of an airborne Yves Klein, Leap Into the Void (1960)—the photographs are themselves acknowledged as the work of art.

Frequently published but rarely credited and all but forgotten except by a few specialists, the photographs were in danger of being scattered after the death of Harry Shunk in 2006. The Foundation stepped in and acquired the photographs by purchase between 2008 and 2012 from the Estate of Harry Shunk and others. The Foundation has preserved, catalogued and digitized the photographs, established a free online archive of them and made them available as appropriate for reproduction in scholarly publications. Working with the consortium members over the past year, the Foundation has arrived at a division of its collection into five parts.

A very abbreviated list of the photographs’ subjects might include Vito Acconci, Arman, Joseph Beuys, Lee Bontecou, Trisha Brown, Alexander Calder, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Merce Cunningham, Lucio Fontana, the Gutai Group, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Yayoi Kusama, Joan Miró, Bruce Nauman, Barnett Newman, Nam June Paik, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Man Ray, Robert Rauschenberg, Lou Reed, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol and Lawrence Weiner. Although Roy Lichtenstein is among the artists captured, the Foundation has acquired, organized and now gifted the photographs for what they represent as a whole, and not for the relatively small role played in them by Lichtenstein himself.

“We have been told that this is the first time that a foundation established by an artist has devoted its resources to a body of work by other artists and we are, of course, pleased to have established such a precedent,” Jack Cowart stated. “When this archive came to our attention, we recognized that an irreplaceable part of art history and future scholarship was at risk of being lost. We believed that in honoring the legacy of Roy Lichtenstein, the Foundation should also address the era in which he worked—an era that is preserved in astonishing fullness and vivid detail by Shunk-Kender and Harry Shunk. We feel very fortunate that we can now donate these riches to five outstanding and supportive institutions. We are, as always, deeply grateful to Dorothy Lichtenstein and the Board for making this possible.”

Dorothy Lichtenstein stated, “Roy, with his characteristic modesty, would have preferred that his foundation not be only about him and his art. I am delighted that we were able to acquire this collection. With their utterly unique documentation of the lives and works of overlapping generations of European and American artists of the 1950s through the 1990s, these photographs are going to be a priceless resource for the institutions we have selected and for the countless people those institutions serve worldwide.”

The leading institution in the consortium and recipient of the largest body of gifts is the Getty Research Institute (GRI). It will receive approximately 183,000 items: a near-complete set of 19,000 prints, 12,000 contact sheets, 126,000 negatives, 26,000 color transparencies and slides, all of the digital assets including the low- and high-resolution images, as well as the inventories. The J. Paul Getty Trust will also manage the photographers’ copyright, as gifted from the Lichtenstein Foundation. The other four institutions can also handle requests and permissions for academic uses of their holdings.

Centre Pompidou will receive approximately 10,000 prints as well as low- and high-resolution images representing most of the artists, events and exhibitions seen in the GRI materials. The Pompidou will actively share this key set with Tate for research, publication and exhibitions.

The National Gallery of Art will receive a complete set of approximately 2,300 prints of all the Christo photographs in the collection. This material dating from circa 1960 to 1976 has been selected because the National Gallery already holds a significant body of work by Christo and Jeanne-Claude spanning more than four decades with the Herbert and Dorothy Vogel Collection.

The Museum of Modern Art will receive 638 prints, including a set of 5 prints of Yves Klein’s Leap into the Void and 92 prints of Yayoi Kusama’s happenings The Anatomic Explosion and Mirror Performance (both 1968, New York). The highlight of the MoMA gift is a near-complete extant set of photographs of the Pier 18 exhibition (1971). Organized on an abandoned pier on the Hudson River, Pier 18 was a monumental performance project conceived by Willoughby Sharp. An invited group of 27 artists including John Baldessari, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Dan Graham, Gordon Matta-Clark, Dennis Oppenheim, Richard Serra and Michael Snow created ephemeral performances or projects on the pier, which Shunk-Kender photographed. MoMA then mounted an exhibition of the photographs, which were, and are, the only contemporaneous record of the event and the individual works.

The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation will temporarily hold the remaining prints, documents, books, ephemera and photography equipment that have not been distributed to the consortium members. The Foundation intends to offer further gifts from this material to the consortium or will place them with other interested institutions.

Harry Shunk, whose name was also spelled Schunk and Schunke, was born on October 4, 1924, in Reudnitz, Germany, near Leipzig. Conscripted into the German army at the start of World War II, he was taken prisoner and interned in England and after the war eventually made his way to Paris, where he met János (Jean) Kender.

János (Jean) Kender was born in Baja, Hungary, on July 6, 1937. He fled to France in 1956 in the wake of the Hungarian uprising and the following year met Harry Shunk. Beginning in 1958, the two men worked as partners, formally crediting all their photographs as a new identity: “Shunk-Kender.” They left Paris for Canada in 1967 and then relocated to New York City. In late 1973, they formally dissolved their creative partnership.

Shunk died in his home and studio in Westbeth in New York City on June 26, 2006. Kender died on December 5, 2009, in a welfare hospice in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Today's News

December 20, 2013

"Monsters: Fantastic Creatures of Fear and Myth" opens at the Museo Nazionale Romano

Christie's doubles estimates at first India auction; Gaitonde's Untitled sells for $3.7 million

Vast trove of photographs rescued and preserved by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation

Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles appoints Thomas J.S. Learner as new Head of Science

CIMA: New foundation opens in New York City dedicated to Italian Modern art

British Rock and Pop in the limelight at Bonhams Entertainment Sale in London

The Museum of London opens new display spotlighting the secrets behind the suit

Strong results for opals and bejeweled eggs achieved at Bonhams in Los Angeles

Project manager with a fire sprinkler contracting company dines out to celebrate Picasso win

Science Museum in London and Touch Press launch Journeys of Invention app

Waddington's fall auction season ends with grand finale with a remarkable 97% of all lots sold

Bonhams announces Furniture, Silver, Decorative Arts and Clocks Sale in New York

Rizzoli announces new book "Dirk Bikkembergs: 25 Years of Athletes and Fashion"

Rossi & Rossi to offer earliest known Tibetan Màndala at TEFAF Maastricht 2014

Lúa Coderch brings her vision of the historical present to Espai 13 of the Fundació Joan Miró

RBC Wealth Management is named principal sponsor for Masterpiece London

Nancy Margolis Gallery to open two-person exhibition of Charles Clary and Ryan Cobourn

SF Museum of the African Diaspora hosts new exhibition & film series

Ralph M. Chait Galleries announces move to 730 Fifth Avenue

Project provides national and regional model for children oriented learning environments

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful