19th Anniversary

An important role that museums continue to play is the acquisition of objects and art. While not every museum needs an iconic work such as a Monet haystack, each institution has its wish lists. To house growing collections (and to integrate new technologies and reinterpret displays), many museums expanded their footprints in 2018. Among these were New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which is expanding (again) from 135,000 to 175,000 square feet ($450 million); the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland, which increased the visitor capacity from 25,000 to 100,000 through a 200,000 square foot expansion ($200 million); the Studio Museum in New York City, which will erect an entirely new 82,000 square-foot building at its current site ($175 million); the Holocaust Museum Houston, which increased from 21,000 to 57,000 square feet ($49.4 million); and the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, which is adding more exhibition galleries ($6.2 million). Let’s take a look at a selection of museum acquisitions from the past year: TROPHY FINDS The San Diego Museum of Art purchased Lucas Cranach the Younger’s circa-1540 Nymph of the Spring (with funds provided by Toni Bloomberg; Gene and Taffin Ray; an anonymous donor; Kevin Rowe & Irene Vlitos Rowe, and the museum’s acquisition fund) and John Singer Sargent’s 1892 oil portrait of John Alfred Parsons Millet (Fig. 1). Paintings by German artist Caspar David Friedrich are rare on the market, and only a small number of U.S. museums have any. The Saint Louis Art Museum purchased the artist’s circa-1820–1830 Sunburst in the Riesengebirge at Sotheby’s London for $2.75 million (Fig. 2). Authenticated lifetime casts of works by Frederic Remington can be difficult to come by, since so many posthumous editions, some suspect, of the artist’s work abound in the market. The Newark Museum got the real thing. The Rattlesnake (cast in 1906) and Mountain Man (cast in 1916 and authorized by Remington’s widow), are part of a bequest from Marie L. Garibaldi (d. 2016), the first woman appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court. 19th Anniversary 114 www.afamag.com |  www.incollect.com Fig. 2: Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), Sunburst in the Riesengebirge, ca. 1820–30. Oil on canvas, 25½ x 31½ inches. Saint Louis Art Museum.