Tang Museum Receives More Than 500 Photographs From Ellsworth Kelly Foundation Executive Director

Nan Goldin, Pawel's Back, East Hampton, 1996, 1996, Cibachrome print. COURTESY THE TANG TEACHING MUSEUM/PHOTO: ARTHUR EVANS

Nan Goldin, Pawel’s Back, East Hampton, 1996, Cibachrome print.


The Tang Teaching Museum, in Saratoga Springs, New York, announced today that Jack Shear, the executive director of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, has given the museum over 500 photographs. The news comes three months after the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation gave the Tang a $100,000 challenge grant.

Shear’s gift to the museum includes work by well-known modernists like Berenice Abbott, André Kertész, and Alfred Stieglitz, though there are also newer works by contemporary artists like Carrie Mae Weems, Sally Mann, Robert Mapplethorpe, Vik Muniz, and Catherine Opie. In a statement, Ian Berry, the Dayton director of the museum, called Shear’s gift “transformational.”

The works given by Shear, who is a photographer in his own right, will be shown at the Tang in February 2016, in an exhibition titled “Borrowed Light: Selections From the Jack Shear Collection.” The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue and a series of talks with photographers whose work is included in the show.

“I have always been impressed by the Tang’s spirit of openness, collaboration, and curiosity in its approach to exhibitions and its collection,” Shear said in a statement. “The Tang consistently offers new and exciting ways for people to engage with objects and ideas—especially through its inventive object-based teaching—which makes the Tang the ideal home for this collection. With the Tang’s guidance, these photographs will be able to reach many diverse audiences, and those encounters are sure to bring new life and new meanings to these photographs.”

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