Acquisitions

Top five acquisitions of the month

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Our pick of the most significant new gifts and purchases to enter museum collections worldwide, from Delacroix’s sketchbooks to a pair of Brexit vases

The Musée du Louvre has bought two sketchbooks from Delacroix’s visit to London in summer 1825, on behalf of the Delacroix museum situated in the painter’s former home and studio in Paris. The Louvre used its “pre-emption” right as a French museum to purchase the sketchbooks at their final auction prices at Artcurial on 2 April. The larger album sold for €331,250 and the smaller for €61,250 (with fees). This “exceptional” acquisition will enable new research on Delacroix’s “English period”, the Louvre says in a statement.
courtesy of the Musée du Louvre

The Musée du Louvre has bought two sketchbooks from Delacroix’s visit to London in summer 1825, on behalf of the Delacroix museum situated in the painter’s former home and studio in Paris. The Louvre used its “pre-emption” right as a French museum to purchase the sketchbooks at their final auction prices at Artcurial on 2 April. The larger album sold for €331,250 and the smaller for €61,250 (with fees). This “exceptional” acquisition will enable new research on Delacroix’s “English period”, the Louvre says in a statement.

The Art Institute of Chicago has purchased a rare portrait by Georgia O’Keeffe—one of five she made of her friend and fellow Modernist, the Harlem Renaissance painter Beauford Delaney. “O’Keeffe described Delaney as ‘really beautiful’ and a ‘special kind of thought’, and her extraordinary charcoal portrait of him captures their closeness and mutual respect,” says Kevin Salatino, the museum’s curator of prints and drawings. The drawing is now on view next to Delaney’s 1944 self-portrait and joins a strong collection of works by O’Keeffe, who briefly studied at the School of the Art Institute. The portrait was sold for $372,500 (with fees) at Christie’s in New York last November in the record-setting auction of American Modernist works from the Barney Ebsworth collection.
courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Fund

The Art Institute of Chicago has purchased a rare portrait by Georgia O’Keeffe—one of five she made of her friend and fellow Modernist, the Harlem Renaissance painter Beauford Delaney. “O’Keeffe described Delaney as ‘really beautiful’ and a ‘special kind of thought’, and her extraordinary charcoal portrait of him captures their closeness and mutual respect,” says Kevin Salatino, the museum’s curator of prints and drawings. The drawing is now on view next to Delaney’s 1944 self-portrait and joins a strong collection of works by O’Keeffe, who briefly studied at the School of the Art Institute. The portrait was sold for $372,500 (with fees) at Christie’s in New York last November in the record-setting auction of American Modernist works from the Barney Ebsworth collection.

The archives of the Swedish-born US artist Claes Oldenburg and his late collaborator and wife Coosje van Bruggen “are among the most significant and visually rich archives ever to be acquired by the Getty Research Institute”, according to its director, Mary Miller. Oldenburg’s own meticulous records date from the 1950s and include 450 diaries and notebooks, and more than 2,000 sketches and collages documenting his performances, sculptures and projects throughout his career. His joint archive with Van Bruggen contains research, plans and correspondence relating to the more than three dozen witty monuments of everyday objects they conceived together, such as Minneapolis’s 51ft-long working fountain Spoonbridge and Cherry (1988).
Jan Staller; © Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

The archives of the Swedish-born US artist Claes Oldenburg and his late collaborator and wife Coosje van Bruggen “are among the most significant and visually rich archives ever to be acquired by the Getty Research Institute”, according to its director, Mary Miller. Oldenburg’s own meticulous records date from the 1950s and include 450 diaries and notebooks, and more than 2,000 sketches and collages documenting his performances, sculptures and projects throughout his career. His joint archive with Van Bruggen contains research, plans and correspondence relating to the more than three dozen witty monuments of everyday objects they conceived together, such as Minneapolis’s 51ft-long working fountain Spoonbridge and Cherry (1988).

The Irving Penn Foundation has given eight photographs dating from the early 2000s to Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Created in the final decade of Penn’s life, they join the museum’s existing collection of 100 photographs, donated by the artist in 1995 in honour of his late Swedish wife Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn. The eight works range from fashion photography—the genre that made Penn’s name after he joined Vogue in the 1940s—to portraits and still-lifes. The museum celebrated the gift last month with the opening of a gallery of 30 of Penn’s photographs drawn from its holdings, which will remain on view throughout 2019.
© Condé Nast

The Irving Penn Foundation has given eight photographs dating from the early 2000s to Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Created in the final decade of Penn’s life, they join the museum’s existing collection of 100 photographs, donated by the artist in 1995 in honour of his late Swedish wife Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn. The eight works range from fashion photography—the genre that made Penn’s name after he joined Vogue in the 1940s—to portraits and still-lifes. The museum celebrated the gift last month with the opening of a gallery of 30 of Penn’s photographs drawn from its holdings, which will remain on view throughout 2019.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) chose 29 March, the UK’s intended date of departure from the European Union, to unveil its acquisition of Grayson Perry’s monumental “Brexit vases”. Displayed in the museum’s Ceramics Galleries and measuring around a metre high, Matching Pair (2017) portrays Leave and Remain supporters in notably similar styles. The artist also incorporated images symbolising British culture that he crowdsourced from both camps via social media, a process that revealed “that we all have much more in common than that which separates us”, he says. The V&A and Perry’s gallery, Victoria Miro, declined to disclose the price of the work.
© Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) chose 29 March, the UK’s intended date of departure from the European Union, to unveil its acquisition of Grayson Perry’s monumental “Brexit vases”. Displayed in the museum’s Ceramics Galleries and measuring around a metre high, Matching Pair (2017) portrays Leave and Remain supporters in notably similar styles. The artist also incorporated images symbolising British culture that he crowdsourced from both camps via social media, a process that revealed “that we all have much more in common than that which separates us”, he says. The V&A and Perry’s gallery, Victoria Miro, declined to disclose the price of the work.