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Masterpieces from the Collection of Governor Rockefeller

DATES July 10, 1962 through August 26, 1962
  • June 28, 1962 On July 10 The Brooklyn Museum opens the third annual summer exhibition of great works of art from private collections in the United States, providing an opportunity for the public to enjoy and study the selected masterpieces, and to see the enormous variety represented in private American collections.

    With the success of the first two summer loan exhibitions, the 1960 showing of 19th and 20th century painting and sculpture from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Pearlman of New York City and the 1961 exhibition of Japanese ceramics collected by Captain and Mrs. Roger Gerry of Roslyn, Long Island, the summer program became established as an annual event at the Museum. This year the interest and generosity of Governor Nelson Rockefeller has made possible the showing of 21 paintings and 12 sculptures from his private collection of art, forming a representative exhibition which includes some of this century’s most controversial artists.

    On a television program on Sunday evening, June 24, Governor Rockefeller said, “I have derived the greatest pleasure from the arts all my life.” The great pleasure of this enthusiastic collector who has shown the international business and political world the importance and significance of art and culture is characterized by Axel von Saldern, Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at The Brooklyn Museum as “a collector who surrounds himself and lives with paintings and sculptures that he admires.”

    The sculptures in the collection, representative of the history of three-dimensional forms in the last decades are, as noted by von Saldern “particularly indicatIve of Mr. Rockefeller’s perceptive judgement as a collector.” Of the 12 sculptures loaned for the Brooklyn show, 3 will be on public exhibition for the first time since the Governor acquired them. They are the moulded clay “Standing Female Figure,” circa 1944, by the Polish-born American Elie Nadelman; a bronze, “Man Walking on Terrace,” 1948, by the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti; and Frenchman Henri Laurens’ “Seated Kicking Woman,” moulded in terracotta, circa 1932.

    Other sculptures range from the beautiful Wilhelm Lehmbruck “Torso,” 1910, in cast stone and his “Dancer” in artificial stone, dated 1913-1914; two smooth voluminous forms by Jean Arp, the 1938 “Shell Crystal” in granite and “Dream Animal,” in bronze, created by the French artist in 1947; the Argentinian-born Italian artist Lucio Fontana is represented by two 1947 ceramics, “Masker” and “Masker II”; the granite “Seated Man with Guitar” is the work of the Lithuanian-born Frenchman who now lives in the United States, Jacques Lipchitz and Marino Marini is represented by the 1943 bronze, “Three Graces.”

    Two other works in the Brooklyn exhibition which have not been publicly shown by the Governor are 1946 collages by Kurt Schwitters. “Land” is a collage of pasted paper over pencilled background, and “Penal” is of pasted paper, some of it painted.

    The 21 pictures include works by Picasso, in particular his three stylistically divergent portrayals of Dora Maar; three different mediums by Georges Braque, “Paysage,” oil on canvas, “The Clarinet,” pasted paper, charcoal, chalk, and oil on canvas, and “La Table,” oil on canvas. The other equally famous artists are Peter Blume, Giorgio de Chirico, Juan Gris, Grace Hartigan, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Leger, Corrado Marca-Relli and Piet Mondrian.

    This exhibition will be on display in the Special Exhibitions Galleries of The Brooklyn Museum from July 10 through August 26.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1953 - 1970. 1962, 043-44.
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