Philadelphia Museum of Art Acquires Works of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has announced that it acquired a number of works of arts expected to “further enrich its world-renowned holdings”. The new acquisitions include a major watercolor by Pierre Joseph Redouté, four masterworks of colonial Latin American art, a painting by N. C. Wyeth, a rare Tiffany chandelier, and more than 200 works by the modern photographer Paul Strand.

According to Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener director and CEO of the museum, since its founding in 1876, more than 90% of the museum’s collection has come as gifts from donors, such as Roberta and Richard Huber, GlaxoSmithKline, Museum Trustee Lynne Honickman her husband Harold, their son Jeffrey Honickman and his wife Marjorie, Museum Trustee Ira Brind, and Elizabeth Shipley.

A recent acquisition is Pierre Joseph Redouté’s Amaryllis Josephine. This double-page watercolor on vellum, accompanied by a pencil drawing of its bulb, was prepared for a series of engravings made under the patronage of the empress Joséphine, Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife. Praised as “the Raphael of Flowers,” Redouté (French, 1759–1840) had been Marie Antoinette’s official court artist before the empress employed him to record the rare blooms she collected for her gardens. This watercolor and drawing were given by Museum Trustee Ira Brind, in memory of Myrna Brind and in honor of David Brind, and will be shown in Philadelphia for the first time this summer in an upcoming exhibition of the museum’s recent acquisitions.


Four gifts from Roberta and Richard Huber are eighteenth-century paintings: King Luis I of Spain on Horseback (Peru), Saint Anthony of Padua Preaching Before Pope Gregory IX (Peru), The House at Nazareth (Bolivia), and Our Lady of the Reedbed of Irún with Donor, Captain Joaquín Elorrieta by Ecuadorian artist José Cortés de Alcocer. These are among a number of works promised to the museum by the couple, whose collection is featured in Journeys to New Worlds: Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Art from the Roberta and Richard Huber Collection, an exhibition now on view in the museum’s Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building through May 19.

Two hundred thirty-six photographs by modern photographer Paul Strand (American, 1890–1976) entered the collection at the end of 2012, including a group of works given by Museum Trustee Lynne Honickman and her husband Harold, and another from their son Jeffrey Honickman and his wife Marjorie. A major retrospective exhibition devoted to Strand, the first in Philadelphia since 1971, will be presented at the museum in fall 2014 and will travel internationally after its debut.

The first painting to enter the collection by illustrator N. C. Wyeth (American, 1882–1945) will be placed on view in gallery 124, adjacent to the Great Stair Hall, on March 5.

The stained glass and bronze chandelier, made c. 1905 by Tiffany Studios under the artistic direction of Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848–1933), is the gift of the Shipley family, descendants of the treasurer for the Board of Directors of Tiffany Studios from 1902–1929.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the US, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art. Its facilities include a landmark main building; the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building; the Rodin Museum, and two historic houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The museum offers a variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts, and films.