MoMA acquires $25 million Matisse

The plum blossoms painting is one of the artist's last works

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has acquired the painting The plum blossoms, ochre background (right, 1948), by Henri Matisse for around $25 million according to the New York Times. The work is a promised and partial gift of the economist Marie-Josée Kravis and her husband, investment banker Henry R. Kravis. A longtime trustee of the museum, Ms Kravis was appointed president of its board in June. This painting, one of Matisse’s last works, is one of seven interiors painted by the artist at his studio in Vence in the south of France. “After this series, he really stopped painting”, says John Elderfield, chief curator of painting and sculpture at MoMA. “Given its rarity and quality, a price of $25 million seems appropriate”, notes Guy Bennett, a specialist in Christie’s Impressionist art department. MoMA owns 50 other works by Matisse.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 162 October 2005