Skidmore College’s Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery has announced the donation of 40 contemporary works on paper from renowned collectors Anne and Arthur Goldstein, including work from artists such as Stephen Balkenol, Huma Bhabha, Nicole Eisenman, Josephine Halvorson, Mary Reid Kelley, David Korty, Atta Kwami, Jack Pierson, Sterling Ruby, Amy Sillman Beth Campbell, and Gary Simmons. In a statement, Arthur Goldstein said,
“From the first time Anne and I learned about the Tang, we were struck by the innovative ways the Museum engages people with objects and ideas. We knew we had found a perfect place for works from our collection. We are so pleased to make this gift and to foster the Tang’s outstanding programming, teaching, and exhibitions.”
“It was the kind of phone call you dream of,” Ian Berry, the Tang’s Dayton Director, commented over email. “We are deeply honored by the Goldsteins’ strong response to the Tang’s programming and mission. It’s been a pleasure borrowing work from them in the past and now getting to know them and their independent and impressive collection. We see our curatorial choices reflected in their collection— the Goldsteins’ focus on works on paper is perfect for our teaching mission and [reflects] the focus of our programming for years. Drawings often reveal process and an intimacy rarely found in other media.”
Notably, most of the works mark the first of the artist’s opus to join the Tang’s permanent collection, though several of the artists were in fact featured in exhibitions at the Tang earlier in their careers. Berry was particularly excited about the acquisition of Jack Whitten’s 1975 pastel, Study for Lapsang and Chinese Sincerity #6. “It’s a stand-out work by this fantastic, under appreciated artist. I hadn’t seen anything like it before we started reviewing possible works for the gift and it jumped out as soon as I saw it. Whitten is a critically important artist and this work fits perfectly into two [special areas of interest] for us—abstraction and works by African-American artists.”
2015, the Tang’s 15th anniversary, has been a favorable year for the institution’s expanding collection, having recently received a $100,000 challenge grant from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation intended for the conservation of the more than 7,000 works in their collection. “It’s evidence that we are finding an audience and making a difference,” Berry said.