The Anderson Collection at SFMoMA
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will present “: The Anderson Collection” from October 7 through January 15, 2001, as the highlight of its year 2000 exhibition schedule.
For the largest exhibition in SFMOMA’s history, three floors of gallery space will be given over to the display of more than 330 paintings, sculptures and works on paper by nearly 140 artists of international renown from the superb private collection of Mr and Mrs Harry W Anderson.
According to exhibition organizer Gary Garrels, SFMOMA Elise S. Haas Chief Curator and curator of painting and sculpture, “The Anderson collection is among the greatest private collections in the United States, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is privileged and honored to organize this exhibition, which will allow the public to see, for the first time, this extraordinary overview of modern and contemporary art.”
The exhibition comprises a “collection of collections,” organizing diverse works into five areas of focus. The New York School features Abstract Expressionist works by Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Clyfford Still, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock – including “Lucifer,” 1947, regarded by many as the finest Pollock painting in a private collection – and the Andersons’ Pop art collection, which was donated to SFMOMA in 1992.
Art in California includes works by Robert Arneson, Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, Jess, David Park and Peter Voulkos, among others. Contemporary Art presents paintings and sculpture by artists working in the 1970s and 1980s, including Scott Burton, Vija Celmins, Bill Jensen, Elizabeth Murray, Martin Puryear, Susan Rothenberg, Joel Shapiro and Terry Winters.
Modern Sculpture offers an impressive array of works by such artists as Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Julio Gonzalez, Henri Matisse and Auguste Rodin. Works on Paper showcases the extensive collection of unique works on paper that mirror the range of the Andersons’ collecting in painting and sculpture.
Bay Area residents Mr and Mrs Harry W. Anderson began to collect art seriously soon after their move to California in the mid-1960s, quickly becoming two of the first collectors of national significance from Northern California. With advice from Professor Albert Elsen of Stanford University, they initially chose to focus on modern sculpture. Subsequently, they developed a carefully considered plan to collect works of the New York School. At this same time, they wanted the collection to represent the best work being made in California.
Inspired by their daughter, Mary Patricia Anderson Pence, in the 1980s the Anderson’s decided to move the collection forward with contemporary art from both New York and California. Throughout their tenure as collectors, they have been devoted to acquiring works on paper that enhance their holdings in other categories, as well as works that stand fully on their own.
For more than 25 years, the Anderson’s have been important friends and patrons of SFMOMA. In 1972, the Anderson’s gave the museum two major paintings of contemporary American art, Jasper Johns’ “Land’s End,” 1963, and Robert Rauschenberg’s “Collection,” 1953-54. This gift was followed in 1974 by the donation of an important Clyfford Still painting and a significant work, “Man in a T-Shirt,” 1958, by California artist David Park in 1976.
In 1992, through the tremendous generosity of Mr and Mrs Anderson and their daughter, the museum received a core group of American Pop works by Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana and James Rosenquist, which have been on view in the museum’s new building since its opening in 1995.
The donated works will be brought together wit works from the Andersons’ private residence and their collection housed at the Quadrus office complex in Menlo Park, Calif. to create a comprehensive exhibition of extraordinary depth and breadth. According to Mr Anderson, “Making our collection available for viewing by the public is of utmost importance to us. We are extremely please to collaborate with SFMOMA on this major exhibition, which allows us to share our love of art with the community in which we’ve lived for more than 30 years.”
Accompanying the exhibition is a scholarly publication containing a history of the collection and overviews of its major areas. The 372-page book includes several essays, 175 full-page illustrations and a complete checklist of the exhibition. SFMOMA’s Education Department will create a digital publication and present an extensive selection of interpretive programs and public lectures and events.
In conjunction with the presentation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the companion exhibition “An American Focus: The Anderson Graphic Arts Collection” will be on view from October 7, through December 31, at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. This major presentation will showcase over 190 graphic works from the Andersons’ collection, including prints by such masters of contemporary printmaking as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Robert Motherwell and David Hockney, among others.
SFMOMA is at 151 Third Street. Hours are (except Wednesdays) 11 am to 6 pm; open late Thursdays until 9 pm. For information, 415/357-4000. For information on this exhibition, contact the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco at 415/863-3330.