Thomas Moran (1837–1926)
Mountain of the Holy Cross (1890)
August 5th, 2012, source: National Gallery of Art, Washington
At its most recent meeting in May, the National Gallery of Art's Board of Trustees accepted an impressive number of new acquisitions, augmenting the collections of paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and photographs. These new works included a collection of 169 photographs by Robert Adams hand-selected by the artist; the Gallery's first watercolor by Thomas Moran; its first paintings by Giorgio Vasari and Hendrik Willem Mesdag; a newly attributed portrait drawing by Michael Sweerts; and a major sculpture by Barry Le Va.
169 Gelatin Silver Prints by Robert Adams
The department of photographs acquired 169 gelatin silver prints by Robert Adams (b. 1937), who has recorded America's changing landscape for more than 40 years, revealing both its sublime beauty and its wanton destruction.
Thomas Moran's Mountain of the Holy Cross
The extraordinary watercolor Mountain of the Holy Cross (1890) by Thomas Moran (1837–1926) is the most important work by the artist to come to light in many years. It was unknown at the time of the Gallery's 1997 Moran retrospective and has never been exhibited publicly or published. Commissioned in 1890 by philanthropist Caroline Phelps Stokes, the painting remained with her descendants for more than 100 years.
Drawings by Whistler and Sweerts
Other works on paper acquired include one of the greatest pastels of Venice by James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), "White and Pink (The Palace)" (1879/1880). The residence has been identified as the Palazzo da Mosta; the drawing is signed with the artist's butterfly device and retains its original Whistler frame. The Gallery has also acquired a portrait in black chalk of Jan van den Enden (c. 1651), one of the most powerful portrait drawings made in mid-baroque Rome.
In addition, the Gallery also acquired works by Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574), Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831–1915), Barry Le Va (b. 1941), Mel Bochner (b. 1940) and William Bailey (b. 1930)