The Weatherspoon Art Museum houses one of the best collections of Contemporary American Art in the Southeast. The collection contains more than 6,000 pieces from the 20th century to the present. Some of the major artists represented in the permanent collection include: Willem de Kooning, Henry Matisse, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Rauschenberg, John Marin, Alexander Calder, Robert Henri, Cindy Sherman, Sol Le Witt, Louise Nevelson, Eva Hesse, and Andy Warhol.
There is 17,000 square feet of exhibition space containing a total of 6 galleries and even a sculpture garden. There are 5 major collections housed in the museum's galleries:
· American Art, 1900 to Present
· The Lenoir C. Wright Collection
· Dillard Collection of Art on Paper
· The Claribel and Etta Cone Collection
· Recent Acquisitions
The first collection, American Art, 1900 to present features work from contemporary artists working in the 20th century. This collection features a variety of mediums including photography, painting, sculpture, and even film. These pieces demonstrate the vast creative possibilities of early modernism, social realism, abstract expressionism, and geometric abstraction.
The Lenoir C. Wright Collection features more than 700 works of Japanese woodblock prints from as early as the 1700s. Full-color designs created from exotic pigments and minerals represent Japanese warriors, landscapes, and beautifully-garbed women. It is the only collection of its kind and scale in the state.
The Dillard Collection of Art on Paperhas been proudly sponsored by the Dillard Paper Company, now called xpedx, since 1965. This collection highlights the importance of drawings in the art world. Almost all artists utilize drawings for a variety of reasons during the creative process, including the generation of ideas and the exploration of various techniques. The collection has a vast collection of works including abstract, modern, and even still-life.
The Claribel and Etta Cone Collection features the lifetime collection of the Cone sisters. They were Jewish immigrants who began collecting the work of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse in the early 1900s after having met both artists. The sisters generously gave 3,000 works of art to the Baltimore Art Museum, and mush less famously, they gave part of their collection to the Weatherspoon. This collection includes 67 Matisse prints, 6 Matisse bronzes, as well as themodern prints and drawings of artists like Pablo Picasso, Felix Valloton, Raoul Dufy, and John Graham.
Finally, the museum's collection of Recent Acquisitions features the newest additions to the Weatherspoon Art Museum. With more than 6,000 pieces in the museum's permanent collection, an acquisition of new work is especially celebrated and displayed. Some of the newest pieces acquired include a scenic water color or Havana by American artist Reginald Marsh and a bronze sculpture entitled Lunalilo by American artist Deborah Butterfield.
The Weatherspoon Art Museum also contains a fabulous sculpture garden consisting of more than 7000 square feet of picturesque nature and an eclectic collection of sculptures to enjoy. Artists like ElieNadelman, George Rickey, and Richard Hunt are featured in this brick-paved garden.
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