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An American Celebration: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection of the Norton Museum of Art

 

The Norton Museum of Art announces an exhibition of newly acquired works by American artists. An American Celebration: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection will feature six American Impressionist and early American Modernist paintings recently donated to the Museum by John And Priscilla Richman, and 18 American paintings from the Elsie and Marvin Dekelboum Collection. Two recently acquired works by James Brooks and Norman Rockwell complete the exhibition. An American Celebration: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection, will be on view from July 5 through October 19, 2003.

The gift from Priscilla and John Richman of six American Impressionist and early American Modernist paintings enhances the Museum's permanent collection by bringing the first example of an artist's work into the collection or by adding to the work of important artists currently represented in the collection. The works are Frederick Frieseke, Woman Seated in an Armchair, ca. 1910; Abbott Fuller Graves, Gathering Lilies, not dated; Robert Henri, Orientale, ca. 1915; Rockwell Kent, Holsteinberg, Greenland, 1933; Louis Ritman, Woman Gardening, 1916; and John Sloan, The Little Flower, ca. 1920. The Richman gift brings the Museum's holdings of American works of art to 912.

Commenting on the gift, John Richman said, "The Norton is an exciting place to be associated with these days, and Priscilla and I are delighted to have been able to make a gift which enhances the American Collection. We think it is particularly fitting that the first public showing of this group of paintings should be part of an exhibit entitled An American Celebration.

Dr. Christina Orr-Cahall, Museum Director, remarked, "This generous gift from John and Priscilla greatly enhances our American Collection. Three of the American Impressionist painters -- Ritman, Frieseke and Graves -- had not been previously represented in the Norton's collection. Thanks to the Richmans and to Mrs. Elsie Dekelboum, visitors to the Museum this summer will be able to enjoy a superb exhibition of American paintings, and we are extremely grateful to them."

The Priscilla and John Richman Gift:

John Richman has been a member of the Norton Museum of Art's Board of Trustees since 1997 and is a former Chairman & CEO of Kraft, Inc. He and his wife Priscilla are long-standing supporters of the Museum, and Mr. Richman is a current Campaign Committee member and serves on the Works of Art Committee. In the year 2000 the couple donated $500,000 to the Museum's Millennium Campaign to Secure the Future. This additional gift of art includes the following:

* Frederick Frieseke, Woman Seated in an Armchair, ca. 1910, is the first work by this artist to enter the collection. Frieseke was one of the first American artists to study at Monet's Giverny, where he became the most dominant member of this group and the most representative of the impressionist style.
 
* Abbott Fuller Graves' Gathering Lilies, not dated, is also the first work by this artist to enter the collection. Graves, a well-respected Boston impressionist, is best known for his paintings of gardens and doorways.
 
* Robert Henri's Orientale, ca. 1915, is the third painting by this artist in the collection, but the subject of the first, an Irish child, is very different in style from this new work, which is more impressionistic.
 
* Rockwell Kent's Holsteinberg, Greenland, 1933, is representative of this artist's individual style. In the 1930s, Kent was considered one of the best American contemporary painters. An important aspect of Kent's life, which directly influenced his artistic production, was his travel; he visited Greenland on three separate occasions between 1929 and 1935. The Norton has several works on paper by this artist; this is the first painting.
 
* The first work by Louis Ritman to enter the collection, Woman Gardening, 1916, is an excellent example of this artist's impressionist style and subject matter: women out-of-doors. He studied at Giverny, where he met Frieseke.
 
* John Sloan's The Little Flower, ca. 1920, joins two other paintings by this artist in the collection. Sloan, a member of the Ashcan School along with Henri, is best known for his city scenes such as The Little Flower, which depicts one woman leaning on a window sill which looks out into the window of the apartment building across from it, while another woman darns a sock; this painting is the first of this artist's well-known subject matter in the collection.

 

The Elsie and Marvin Dekelboum Collection:

The Norton Museum of Art originally exhibited the complete gift of 21 extraordinary works of art from Mrs. Elsie Dekelboum and her husband, the late Marvin Dekelboum, in 2002. The impressive collection consists of 19th- and 20th- century American and European paintings, pastels and watercolors.

An American Celebration: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection will feature 18 works by American artists including important examples by Mary Cassatt, Colin C. Cooper, William M. Harnett, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Walt Kuhn, John Marin, Jerome Myers, Maurice Prendergast, Charles M. Russell, John Sloan, and John H. Twachtman.

Twachtman's Pink Flowers of 1892 is a charming view of the painter's garden in Greenwich, Connecticut. It will be the second painting by this important artist and teacher to enter the Norton Museum's holdings. The Dekelboums' In the Wake of the Hunters, a striking 1896 picture of Native American life by Charles M. Russell, provides a moving glimpse into what was already at that time a vanishing culture. Mary Cassatt's 1907 Portrait of Helen Sears is a major pastel from the artist's late period that represents the daughter of one of her closest friends, the photographer Sarah Choate Sears. Walt Kuhn's poignant 1931Portrait of a Clown will also return.

Norman Rockwell and James Brooks:

An American Celebration: Recent Gifts to the Permanent Collection exhibition also introduces works by two important artists, Norman Rockwell's Tea Time, 1927, bequeathed by Gertrude Perlberg in 2001, and James Brooks'Every, 1962, a gift from Charlotte Park Brooks in 2002. Brooks' Every joins other fine examples of Abstract Expressionism in the Museum's collection such as Pollock's Night Mist, 1945 and Sam Francis' Untitled, 1956.

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