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Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
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Prominent artists laud the Allen’s centennial with gifts of their work

September 1, 2019

Prominent artists laud the Allen’s centennial with gifts of their work

September 1, 2019

A number of prominent artists have donated works to the AMAM to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its founding.

“We invited artists who know the museum well—or whose career trajectory has been positively impacted by the Allen—to contribute a work in honor of our centennial,” said Andria Derstine, John G. W. Cowles Director of the AMAM, who collaborated with curator Andrea Gyorody and Visiting Committee member Douglas Baxter ’72, president of Pace Gallery, on this initiative.

Last year, William Wegman, who is best known for his photographs of Weimaraners in ironic poses, gave a 2014 work titled White Out, in which a dog stands on a bright-blue pedestal; the canine’s torso appears unusually thin due to a second pedestal, painted white and strategically placed in front of the dog’s body. The AMAM now has 21 works by Wegman.

Also in 2018, Chuck Close gave the museum a large color Polaroid of artist Fred Wilson, which brings to 11 the number of works by Close in the AMAM collection. Wilson was a familiar figure at the AMAM during 2016, when the image was taken, as he was mounting two major exhibitions at the Allen.

The AMAM now owns a dozen works by Frank Stella, thanks to the addition of a large monoprint, Abu Hureya #12, made in 2000. Derstine selected the work on a visit to Stella’s studio in 2018. Early in Stella’s career, in 1959, the AMAM exhibited several of his paintings as part of its seminal Three Young Americans series organized by late art history professor Ellen Johnson ’33.

Jim Dine, who in 1965 had an artist residency at Oberlin College and a show at the AMAM at the invitation of Johnson—his first solo museum exhibition—gave the Allen 100 prints spanning his prolific career in honor of the museum’s then-upcoming centennial. The gift was made when he returned to campus in 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of his first visit. Other artists making gifts to honor the museum’s milestone include Audrey Flack, Jasper Johns, and Martin Kline.

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Frank Stella (American, b. 1936), "Abu Hureya #12," 2000. Gift of the artist, 2019.6

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