Published on : Thursday, September 18, 2014
Modernism from the National Gallery of Art: The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection brings paintings by the great masters of the post-war world to San Francisco. The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection, assembled over the course of nearly 50 years and encompassing some of the finest works by leading figures in postwar art, is among the largest single-donor gifts made to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, since that museum’s founding by Andrew W. Mellon in 1937.
The de Young will feature nearly 50 works by Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Frank Stella, among others. The de Young is the exclusive venue for this exhibition, the first of the Meyerhoff Collection outside the greater Washington, DC, and Baltimore metro areas.
This exhibition of modern and contemporary art will be organized into three generational groupings, allowing for a remarkable overview of American art from the end of World War II through the end of the century. Highlights of the exhibition include Stella’s Flin Flon IV (1969), Johns’ Perilous Night (1982), and Lichtenstein’s Painting with Statue of Liberty (1983).
The centerpiece of the exhibition is Barnett Newman’s The Stations of the Cross (1958–66). This series of 15 paintings, widely considered to be the artist’s most important work, will be displayed as the artist intended—shown together within a discrete, chapel-like gallery devoted solely to the series. An interview with Barnett Newman from 1966 is being screened continuously in the Exhibition Media Room, located across from the lower level entrance of the de Young Museum Store.
Beginning in 1985, Robert and Jane Meyerhoff began donating major works of post-war art to the National Gallery, and in 1987 signed an agreement with the National Gallery of Art for the eventual donation of their entire collection to the Gallery.