Palm Springs Art Museum receives donation of 17 artworks from Gordon W. Bailey

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Palm Springs Art Museum receives donation of 17 artworks from Gordon W. Bailey
Sam Doyle, Untitled (Annunciation of the Virgin Mary) c. 1970s, house paint on aluminum, 34.25 x 28 in. (86.99 x 71.12 cm), Palm Springs Art Museum, Gift of Gordon W. Bailey.

PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.- Palm Springs Art Museum announced today a gift of seventeen artworks from Los Angeles-based, advocate, scholar, and collector Gordon W. Bailey. The gift marks Bailey's first to the museum and includes a number of works created by African American artists who lack formal training, representing a milestone in the museum's commitment to diversifying its collection.

A highlight of the gift is a painting of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary on aluminum by Sam Doyle, an artist whose works have influenced several contemporary artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat who collected Doyle’s portraits, and Ed Ruscha who painted a tribute to the artist when Doyle died in 1985. Willie Tarver’s limestone sculpture of a nude male is currently on display in the museum's newest exhibition, A Shadow Set Free, and six other works are on display elsewhere in the museum. Bailey’s gift of works includes paintings, mixed media, sculptures, and ceramics from California artists Chris Benchetler, David Choe and Samuel Pace, along with artists from throughout the United States. including Leroy Almon, Eddie Arning, William Dawson, Roy Ferdinand, Daniel Johnston, Harry Lieberman, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Mary L. Proctor, Welmon Sharlhorne, Herbert Singleton, Mose Tolliver, and Purvis Young.

"Palm Springs Art Museum is honored to receive this gift of works from Gordon W. Bailey," said Adam Lerner, JoAnn McGrath Executive Director of Palm Springs Art Museum. "The artists are among the most prominent self-taught artists in the country, and this gift puts us in league with some of our most preeminent peers collecting their work. Through Mr. Bailey’s gift, we continue our commitment to inclusivity and embracing underrepresented artists."

Bailey has previously made a number of significant art donations to prominent institutions. He is renowned for his dedication to untrained artists, particularly Black artists from the American South. Many of the artists he champions, though historically marginalized, are gaining increasing recognition and appreciation within the broader contemporary art community. Bailey's collection is celebrated for its emphasis on artists who, despite their disadvantages, have made profound contributions to the art world.

“Throughout his stellar career, Adam Lerner, Palm Springs Art Museum’s Director, has demonstrated a sincere outreach that has expanded audiences. Many of his innovations are groundbreaking. I have full confidence that the museum, as the epicenter of a culturally diverse region, is the proper home for these inspiring artworks and that Adam’s dynamic programing will continue to engage residents and visitors of the Coachella Valley.”

Bailey's donation enhances the museum's efforts to reflect the evolving landscape of the art world and its commitment to diversity. The artworks enrich the museum's permanent collection of objects created by artists working in the folk tradition and by those without formal training and encourage visitors to embrace the innovative, vibrant world of folk and visionary art.

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