Press Release

Columbia Museum of Art Collection Increases by More Than 600 Works in 2012

COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Museum of Art collection grew by 619 works from gifts by 12 generous collectors and funders in 2012, which represents a 10 percent increase in size. The growth of the collection in such a significant way reflects the commitment of individuals who understand the value of a museum to the cultural life of a community. The gifts include American paintings and photographs, contemporary works on paper, Asian porcelain and an Old Master etching by Rembrandt, The Raising of Lazarus.

Major gifts from collectors around the country, including New York, Texas, Los Angeles, North Carolina and South Carolina, build upon the CMA’s strengths in American, European, Asian, and modern and contemporary art.

The CMA collection now encompasses approximately 7,000 works and spans thousands of years of history. As the only public museum in the state with an extensive collection of international art, the CMA is fortunate in having at its nucleus significant holdings of Renaissance and Baroque works of art. Thanks, in large part, to the important gifts made to the CMA by the Kress Foundation in 1954 and 1962, the CMA is known in scholarly circles for its rich collection of European paintings and bronzes.

“We are indebted to these generous art collectors and funders who have given these works of art and support to the museum that raises our visibility on a local, state and national level,” CMA Executive Director Karen Brosius said. “The heart of our museum is the collection, and these gifts to the CMA will inspire, educate and entertain future generations.”

Most notable in size was the gift of 594 works by Herb and Dorothy Vogel, two of America’s leading collectors of contemporary art in New York. This was the Vogel’s second largest donation, after the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. This substantial collection represents work in various media by 27 different artists including Richard Artschwager, Michael Lucero, Pat Steir, Richard Tuttle, among others, along with a large number of works by Lucio Pozzi and Daryl Trivieri.

In addition, the CMA’s American art collection further grew in size and importance. The following highlights several of the new acquisitions.

George Tooker’s Girl in the Window from 1978 adds a new important portrait to the mix. “Girl in the Window could be the CMA’s version of the Mona Lisa: a beautiful, slightly strange, work of art that impresses viewers and generates lively debates,” CMA Chief Curator Will South said. “It is memorable in the same deft way and yet utterly different in its pervasive ambiguity.” This portrait was purchased with funds from an anonymous donor and the CMA affiliate membership group, the Contemporaries. It will be on view beginning in April.

In 2012, Dwight H. and Sue Emanuelson from Hilton Head Island gave five more works of modern and contemporary art to the CMA, including work by James Brooks, Malcolm Morley, and a triptych by Syd Solomon. Their willingness and desire to share their passion with the community are genuinely inspiring. To date, the couple has donated 44 works to the CMA.

“The Emanuelsons recognize a spectrum of artistic achievement, from objects that compel us to know more, to objects that reveal how little we really can know,” South said. “Their collecting is a pursuit that expands their experience of leading full lives, just as their generosity to the CMA expands ours.”

Another acquisition was a work by American artist Luigi Lucioni entitled Still Life (Porcelain Dog Vase with Flowers) from 1932 that was given by a North Carolina collector. Lucioni’s colorful painting is typical of his precisionist manner and gives the CMA’s American collection a representative piece of this artistic approach.

The CMA also received gifts in 2012 in honor of its membership affiliate group, Friends of African American Art and Culture. Charlotte Sherman, the director of the Heritage Gallery in Los Angeles, gave two photographs and one work on paper by Charles White, one of America’s most renowned 20th-century African-American artists


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