September 28, 2012
“The Artist’s Hand: American Works on Paper 1945-1975” at the Museum of Art/WSU
This exhibition celebrates a unique and under‐recognized collection of prints and drawings made between 1945 and 1975, by 48 of the most important American artists of the period.
For visitors, the 97 works represent a remarkable panorama of art‐making benchmarks ‐ from such quintessential Abstract Expressionist works as those by Hans Hofmann, Willem deKooning, Sam Francis and Jackson Pollock to the Minimalist works of Donald Judd, Walter deMaria and Agnes Martin; on to the Pop of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and the collagist works of Jim Dine and Robert Rauschenberg; the realism of Alex Katz and Alfred Leslie and the geometric abstraction of Frank Stella, Josef Albers and Jo Baer.
The collection does not belong to any one museum, but is treated as a shared resource of seven art institutions in Washington, of which the Museum of Art/WSU is one. The idea for the collection was originally conceived in 1975, to address the lack of world‐class art in our state. It was funded, at relatively modest cost, by Seattle patron Virginia Wright with matching funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Because of the collection, the Washington Art Consortium evolved and became the first organization of its type in the nation. Today, the range and quality of works would be financially prohibitive to duplicate. Most of these works have been conserved and re‐framed during the past decade, and so this is a special opportunity to see them in pristine condition.
*The Consortium is made up of the following institutions: the Western Gallery, Western Washington University; the Museum of Art, Washington State University; the Tacoma Art Museum; the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture; the Whatcom Museum of History and Art;the Henry Gallery, University of Washington;and the Seattle Art Museum. Funding for this exhibition and book was generously provided by: Robert Lehamn Foundation, Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Art Endowment, Washington Art Consortium, Washington State Arts Commission and Museum of Art's Friend Fund.