Chrysler Museum receives gifts of art from local collectors that enhance diversity in the permanent collection
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Chrysler Museum receives gifts of art from local collectors that enhance diversity in the permanent collection
Glenn Ligon (American b. 1960), Study for Negro Sunshine #73, 2011, Oilstick, coal dust, and gesso on paper, Promised Gift of Meredith and Brother Rutter © Glenn Ligon; Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth, New York, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Chantal Crousel, Paris.

NORFOLK, VA.- As the Chrysler Museum of Art celebrates the 50th anniversary of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.’s transformative gift of art, local and regional collectors continue to bolster the Chrysler’s holdings with enriching gifts of art. Meredith and Brother Rutter are members of this new generation of collectors and have promised eight pieces of contemporary painting, photography and sculpture to the Chrysler. Among the gifts are works by Glenn Ligon, McArthur Binion, Math Bass, Hank Willis Thomas, Matthew Brandt, Alex Prager and Brian Bress. The objects will come into the collection over time, with several pieces arriving in the next couple of years and others further in the future. “Meredith and Brother Rutter’s gifts of art will allow the Chrysler to present powerful works and share stories that are relevant to the communities we serve,” said Chrysler Museum Director Erik Neil. “It is the Museum’s mission to bring art and people together through experiences that delight, transform and inspire. Gifts such as those from the Rutter’s advance that mission by bringing new artists and greater diversity to the Chrysler’s collection.”

Visitors will get their first look at some of the artworks from the Rutters' personal collection this fall in Building a Legacy: Chrysler Collects for the Future. The exhibition will feature recent and promised gifts that will allow the Museum to tell richer and more compelling stories and increase the diversity of its holdings. Three gifts from the Rutters will be featured in the exhibition: Ligon’s Study for Negro Sunshine #73, Binion’s dna:study and Bass’ Step Platform. All of these artists are new to the Chrysler Museum’s permanent collection. Ligon and Binion, both African American, are major figures in contemporary art. Bass is a younger female artist and a rising star in contemporary art. Their works represent a range of media, including works on paper, mixed media painting and steel sculpture. “We felt that concentrating as much as possible on women and artists of color would have the greatest impact on the Chrysler collection. And, since Walter Chrysler made his magnificent gift before much of what would be considered ‘contemporary art,’ we hope the gifts of recent objects will also have a positive impact,” the Rutters said.

The Rutters realize that, similar to most of the art world, museum collections are skewed. To tell a more comprehensive story on the history of art, institutions must focus on artists, mediums and content that have been ignored or forgotten. Their additions to the Chrysler Museum will spark transformative discussions for decades to come about the environment, social justice, interaction within an artist’s circle and new ideas of minimalism and visual perception. These discussions reflect the world around us.

Meredith and Brother Rutter have been incredible supporters of the Chrysler Museum for almost two decades. Meredith is the current chair of the Masterpiece Steering Committee and was a member of the Norfolk Society of Arts. Brother has been a highly active member of the Chrysler’s Board of Trustees for many years and is the current Board chair. They also founded the Rutter Family Art Foundation to support nonprofit arts organizations in Hampton Roads and bring contemporary art to the widest possible audience.

The Chrysler Museum seeks to expand presentations of the history of art through the collection. Gifts from local and regional collectors like Meredith and Brother Rutter make that possible. With each additional work, the narrative expands and becomes more nuanced. The Rutters’ incredible donation will impact the valuable stories the Chrysler Museum can tell for generations to come.

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