Skip to main content

Art Museum receives Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize

Self Portrait on Float by Derrick Adams

The Art Museum of West Virginia University welcomes two new works of art to the permanent collection, thanks to funds awarded by the International Fine Print Dealers Association Foundation.

The Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize is an annual program through IFPDA Foundation, funded by Champion & Partners, that provides $10,000 for a museum’s acquisition of one or more prints from any period at the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair.

“With limited acquisition funds, the award allowed the Art Museum the opportunity to acquire two works by artists not yet represented in the collection,” said Todd J. Tubutis, director of the Art Museum of WVU. “Pursuing invaluable opportunities like this prize is a critical step toward furthering our mission to bring art to West Virginia citizens, especially in a state with so few institutions dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting original works of art.

Tubutis and Museum Curator Bob Bridges attended the Fine Art Print Fair in New York City Oct. 23 – 26, where they selected “Self Portrait on Float” by Derrick Adams and “Side (Beijing)” by Martin Puryear.

“Bob has extensive knowledge of the Art Museum’s collection, so his expertise and experience helped shape our application and ultimate selection of two prints,” Tubutis said.

Side (Beijing) by Martin Puryear

The Museum’s collection boasts nearly 5,000 objects in a variety of media. A particular strength of the museum lies in its holdings of prints, spanning from the 1500s to today, and includes works by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Rembrandt van Rijn, Francisco Goya, Marguerite Zorach, Grant Wood, Peter Saul, Anni Albers and William Kentridge, among many others.

“Bob had long hoped to welcome a work by Martin Puryear into the collection and we were delighted to find one at the fair,” Tubutis said, noting the artist was on the pair’s list of artists to look for at the fair. “The print by Derrick Adams was the surprise find. Bob and I not only found the image so compelling, and a great one for a campus art museum, but we were also greatly impressed by the craftsmanship of the print itself.

“Apparently 100 individual woodblocks were used to create the piece, so it has a great relationship to our strong holdings of other woodblock artists like Blanche Lazzell and Grace Martin Taylor.”

Both artists are African American, and the Art Museum of WVU strategically pursues works by historically under-represented artists in order to demonstrate the full breadth and depth of art made in the United States over the last century.

“Self Portrait on Float” and “Side (Beijing)” will make their debut at the Art Museum of WVU during “Brilliant,” an exhibition of recent acquisitions to the permanent collection, opening in February 2020.

“The Art Museum of WVU is in great company in receiving the Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize, with past recipients including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the British Museum,” Tubutis said. “This award lets the world know that West Virginia’s land-grant institution has an art museum with an important, growing collection.”

The Dr. Joyce Ice Fund for Acquisitions and Exhibitions further allows the Art Museum of WVU to explicitly embrace WVU's land-grant mission of local, regional and global community engagement. To donate, visit

 Photo Credits:

Derrick Adams, Self Portrait on Float, 2019, woodblock, gold leaf, collage, ed of 50, 40” x 40”.

Martin Puryear, Side (Beijing), 2013, Color hardground etching with aquatint and drypoint, Image size 24" x 24", Paper size 35" x 34", Edition of 40