Photographers plant the US flag abroad
New collection donates work to embassies
By Gareth Harris. From Art Basel Miami Beach daily edition
Published online: 04 December 2013
The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), a non-profit organisation that donates US works to American embassies worldwide, has started a contemporary US photography collection. The first photographers to donate works are Tina Barney and William Wegman. Barney’s Color Guard, 2007, and Wegman’s View Points, 2005, have been presented to John Kerry, the US Secretary of State.
A pro-bono advisory committee led by Robert Storr, the dean of the Yale University School of Art, selects and commissions all the foundation’s artists. “The works are all donated by the artists, and FAPE provides the funds to pay for their fabrication and installation,” says a spokeswoman for the organisation, which is based in Washington, DC. Its sponsors include Bank of America.
Photographers donate each work in an edition of 50, with the images displayed in numerous embassies and consulates around the world. The next donation will be unveiled at the foundation’s annual dinner, which is due to be held at the US Department of State in May.
Since its launch in 1986, the organisation has placed works by 200 US artists in 140 embassies worldwide. Meanwhile, the artist Martin Puryear has been commissioned to create a site-specific installation for the US Embassy in Beijing. The work will be unveiled in 2015.
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