Building a Legacy: Chrysler Collects for the Future
November 19, 2021 — March 6, 2022
Special Exhibition Galleries
Presented in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.’s transformative gift of art to the Chrysler Museum of Art, Building a Legacy: Chrysler Collects for the Future presents recent and promised gifts of art that will shape the collection for the next generation of museum visitors.
The wide variety of artworks on view reflect the Museum’s mission to present relevant and impactful works of art to our community that delight, transform, and inspire. While Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.’s gift was encyclopedic in its scope, these additions to the collection allow the Museum to tell richer and more compelling stories and increase the diversity of its holdings.
The gifts and promised gifts on view in Building a Legacy will enhance every area of the Chrysler collection. Donors have greatly enriched the Museum’s extensive and outstanding holdings of glass artwork with objects by renowned glass artists like Debora Moore and Ginny Ruffner, both new to the Chrysler collection. Other works by artists like Karl Harron and Matt Eskuche add exciting new directions to the collection by showcasing fascinating and unique glassworking techniques. Yet other gifts of glass include works by Dale Chihuly, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová and Lino Tagliapietra, which expand the Museum’s collection of works by these notable masters of glass.
Recent photography gifts bring some of the medium’s historic milestones to the Chrysler, particularly in works from the 19th century. A group of Virginia daguerreotypes are presented alongside works by early European pioneers of the medium like Édouard-Denis Baldus, Charles Marville and William Henry Fox Talbot. In addition, pieces by major photographers of the 20th century like André Kertész and Aaron Siskind showcase important achievements in the history of photography. Works by contemporary photographers like Hank Willis Thomas, Greta Pratt and Sally Mann highlight exciting new directions in the medium.
Art of the 20th and 21st centuries has been a major focus of the Museum’s recent collecting efforts and several important gifts in this area will appear in the exhibition. The addition of works by local and regional artists, female artists and artists of color help bring more underrepresented artists to the collection. Well-known names in the history of art such as Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Keith Haring will appear with artists who are less familiar, such as Anne Iott and Andrew Wodzianski. Together, these works challenge the canon of art history and introduce present and future visitors to a broader range of artists, materials and ideas.
In the area of European and American paintings, works like the dazzling Portrait of a Young Man in Red Riding Habit by the 17th-century painter Wybrand de Geest and John Leslie Breck’s Springtime fill gaps in the Museum’s holdings in Dutch portraiture and American Impressionism. Other recent gifts like a late portrait by Pierre-Auguste Renoir add depth to the Chrysler’s holdings of the artist, which include two paintings, sculpture and works on paper by the French Impressionist. Works recently given to the Museum by American artists Susan Watkins and George Luks enhance the caliber of the holdings of these artists and allow for a fuller representation of their artistic contributions.
As the Chrysler looks toward its next fifty years, the gifts and promised gifts of art on view in this exhibition will serve as the foundation for the institution’s mission to serve as a site of education and focal point for community dialogue.
This exhibition is organized by the Chrysler Museum of Art.