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Got an eye for art?

High hosts second annual Collectors’ Evening to build permanent collection

POSTED: January 27, 2011 12:30 a.m.

ATLANTA — The High Museum of Art will host the second annual Collectors' Evening on Friday. The event, instituted in 2010 to build and improve the museum's permanent collection, invites guests to take an active role in choosing the next work of art to join the collection.

"The second Collectors' Evening arrives with much anticipation and excitement, both by our curators and the attendees who will be voting," said David Brenneman, the High's director of collections and exhibitions and Frances B. Bunzl Family curator of European art.

During the evening, each of the High's current curators will present a work of art as a potential new acquisition. Guests will then cast their votes and the High will purchase the work of art that receives the most votes.

This year's proposed acquisitions include the following:

African Art
The proposed work from the African art department is "Elephant Headress." During the 19th century when this work was made, elephant masks were among the most prestigious of all the masquerades performed by groups of wealthy, titled men in the small Bamileke kingdoms of the Cameroon Grassfields. The acquisition of this work would strengthen the High's holdings of African masks and the art of Cameroon as well as diversify the materials represented in our collection.

American Art
Robert Laurent's limestone sculpture "Lamentation" (1946) is the proposed acquisition for the American art collection. Laurent was at the forefront of new trends and is often considered a link between the classicism of Beaux Arts sculptors and the abstractionists. His work is relatively rare, with much of it existing either in monumental size as public art or scattered among public and private collections. It would join the High as the first work by Robert Laurent and will complement the elegant, stylized forms of John Flannigan, William Zorach and Paul Manship, the cubist composition of Berta Margoulies and the abstract work by Theodore Roszak already in the collection.

European Art
Auguste-Jean-Baptiste Vinchon's (1789-1855) "Portrait of Nency Destouches" (1829) is the proposed acquisition for the High's European art collection. A mentee of Jacques-Louis David, the painter maintained a level of success during his lifetime that rivaled his contemporaries Eugène Delacroix and Théodore Géricault. This portrait would be the first work by Vinchon to be acquired by the High and will expand the Museum's collection to fuller illuminate the era of French Romanticism.

Folk Art
Minnie Evans is among the most highly regarded of self-taught artists. Her elaborate painting on paperboard created in 1968 is the proposed acquisition for the folk art collection. The proposed painting, an untitled work, is a collage comprising at least two earlier works: a drawing from 1941 and a mid-career drawing from 1951. This painting is larger and more elaborate than any of the five Evans works already in the High's collection.

Modern and Contemporary Art
The proposed work from the modern and contemporary art department is Spencer Finch's "Bright Star (Sirius)" (2010). Finch's light sculpture replicates the bluish cast of Sirius as seen with the naked eye and measured by astronomical research by attaching colored gels of specific widths on fluorescent tubes at prescribed intervals. With this acquisition, the High would further its commitment to this increasingly important young artist and complement its core areas of Color Field and hard-edged abstraction holdings.

Photography
The photography department has proposed an acquisition of Vik Muniz's "Leda and the Swan, after Leonardo da Vinci," (2009). Seen from more than 40 feet above the floor, objects such as discarded hub caps, pipes, appliances and tires became the building blocks for an imaginative but ephemeral recreation of the celebrated Renaissance painting "Leda and the Swan."



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