Published: September 14, 2004
With the restoration of the Heckscher’s historic building slated to commence next year, the museum is kicking off its 85th anniversary celebration with “A Century of Collecting” – an exhibition showcasing the riches of its permanent collection. Opening on September 18 and running through November 14, “A Century of Collecting” will be hung salon-style, floor to ceiling, throughout the building.
In lieu of a traditional chronological installation, the exhibition will be hung thematically, with engaging – and sometimes unorthodox – groupings such as Horsefeathers, Arcades, Line, Gesture, Geometries, Home and Away, Leisure Time, Travelogue and Figuration. Each offers intriguing juxtapositions of art spanning centuries, media, nationality and style.
Transcendent landscapes by American masters Thomas Moran, Frederic Church and Asher Durand hang cheek by jowl with modern masterpieces by George Luks and Marsden Hartley. The linear aspects of a Sixteenth Century Cranach “Madonna” can be compared to Twentieth Century Modernism by abstract pioneers Arthur Dove and Stuart Davis.
Paintings by renowned colorists Joseph Albers and Richard Anuszkiewicz partner with one of the newest acquisitions – an exquisite luminal sculpture by the contemporary artist Keith Sonnier. Photographs by Twentieth Century masters Eduard Steichen and Berenice Abbott will join stunning images by regional photographers, who have created classic images of New York in the 1950s and 60s. Raphael Soyer’s haunting oil painting of “Seated Nude” will find a fey counterpart in Eli Nadelman’s small-scale sculpture of a more well-rounded model.
The possibilities are endless: dignified Eighteenth Century British portraits and biting figure studies by George Grosz; Milton Avery and Edward Moran; Thomas Eakins and Fairfield Porter; William Merritt Chase and Georgia O’Keeffe; Berenice Abbott and Eduard Steichen; Ralph Blakelock and Winslow Homer; Albert Bierstadt and Paul Resika; Maurice Prendergast and Helen Torr; J. Alden Weir and Florine Stettheimer; Jean-Leon Gerome and Abraham Walkowitz; and Salvador Dali and Ray Johnson will create visual feasts.
Paintings, sculpture, drawings and photographs on view range form Old Master to contemporary – reflecting the depth and breadth of the museum’s permanent collection that has now grown to more than 2,000 objects. Art collected by founder August Heckscher a century ago – on view here when the museum opened its doors in 1920 – will be complemented by objects acquired over the 85 intervening years, right down to the most recent additions.
“A Century of Collecting” offers a romp through some of the Heckscher’s most compelling works, from intimate drawings that seduce with the delicacy to oil paintings heroic in scale and concept, from extraordinary Baroque sculpture to 7-foot-tall Paul Manship lamps.
The Heckscher will also offer public programs that focus on the “art of collection,” as well as concerts and adult and children’s programs designed to complement this extraordinary exhibition.
The museum is in Heckscher Park, Main Street (Route 25A) and Prime Avenue. For information, 631-351-3250, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.heckscher.org.
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