The Art Museum of West Virginia University acquired 56 works of art in 2020, ranging from prints to ceramics to paintings, many of which support the museum’s mission to diversify its permanent collection.
“The Art Museum is steadfastly committed to diversifying its holdings by strategically acquiring works by women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ artists—such as Kerry James Marshall and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith—in order to tell more inclusive, varied and nuanced histories of artistic production,” said Director Todd J. Tubutis. “We also continue to build the collection in ways that support and complement teaching and research interests across campus, particularly for students in the School of Art and Design, and reflect the experiences of the region.”
A new fund was established last year at the WVU Foundation through the generosity of several donors to specifically support the acquisition of works by BIPOC artists. The Art Museum Acquisition Fund for A Diverse Collection was established in July and will continue to grow with future contributions.
All acquisitions at the Art Museum of WVU are approved by the museum’s Collection Committee, which adheres to the museum’s Collection Management Policy. Highlights of last year’s additions to the collection include:
- Twenty two prints by Louise Nevelson (1899–1988) made between 1953 and 1966, a gift of Pace Prints, made possible by Jacob Lewis, president of Pace Prints and WVU College of Creative Arts alumnus
- A ceramic teapot with gun parts by Philadelphia-based artist Roberto Lugo (b. 1981), To disarm: Malcolm X / Tupac, 2020, acquired with Myers Foundations Funds
- Sand and Stone, a 1950 gelatin silver print by Minor White (1908–1976), formerly in the collection of artist Imogen Cunningham, acquired through the Tom Witt and Grethe Myles Photography Acquisition Fund
- Poca High School and John Amos Power Plant, West Virginia, a 2004 photograph by Mitch Epstein (b. 1952) from the artist’s “American Power” series, acquired through the generosity of Christine Jones Huber, Callen McJunkin, Verl and Sandra Purdy, Jennifer Peyton, Mark and Debbie Kilcollin, and Mary H. Dinsmore
- West Virginia Hills, a 1930 painting by M. Inez McCurdy (1913–2006), a gift of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in honor of Patrick D. Deem, who practiced with the firm in Clarksburg, West Virginia for 52 years, and his wife Alison, his life partner.
In addition to prints by Kerry James Marshall (b. 1950) and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (b. 1940), acquisitions made by the Art Museum in 2020 include works on paper by Ilya Bolotowsky (1907–1981), Paul Cadmus (1904–1999), and 12 letterpress posters produced by the Base Camp Printing Company, Charleston, West Virginia; a gift of several photographs by Bill Burke (b. 1943), Mark Cohen (b. 1943), Richard Gordon (1945–2012), Stanley Greenberg (b. 1956), Saul Leiter (1923–2013), Joseph Szabo (b. 1944) from Tom Gitterman; and a kinetic sculpture by Elijah David Herschler (b. 1940), a gift of Dr. Jeremy Herschler.
To learn more about the Art Museum of WVU, its collection or how to donate, visit https://artmuseum.wvu.edu.
Mitch Epstein (b. 1952)
“Poca High School and John Amos Power Plant, West Virginia,” 2004 (printed 2020)
Museum purchase with funds provided by Christine Jones Huber, Callen McJunkin, Verl and Sandra Purdy, Jennifer Peyton, Mark and Debbie Kilcollin, and Mary H. Dinsmore
Roberto Lugo (b. 1981)
“To disarm: Malcolm X / Tupac,” 2020
ceramic, china paint, enamel, epoxy, gun parts
Museum purchase, Myers Foundations Funds