Phillip A. Bruno, a retired art dealer who has previously worked as a director at Marlborough Gallery and the Staempfli Gallery in New York, which closed in 1988, has made a large donation to the Hunterian Art Gallery, Scotland’s oldest public museum, which is part of the University of Glasgow.
Included in Bruno’s gift are 74 works, ranging from paintings and sculptures to prints and drawings that he has amassed over a six-decade career, by the likes of American artists William Dole, Lee Gatch, Red Grooms, David Levine, Leroy Lamis, Robert Andrew Parker, and Tom Otterness, as well as works by international figures like the Mexican painter José Luis Cuevas and the Japanese sculptor Masayuki Nagare.
Bruno’s career spanned 1950 to 2010, and, as a dealer, he is best known for placing pieces by Dale Chihuly, Constantin Brancusi, George Rickey, and others in major private collections. His own collecting interests focused on New York–based artists, as well as art from Europe, Oceania, and the West Coast of the United States.
Peter Black, a curator at the Hunterian, told ARTnews that Bruno’s collection “provides us with a snapshot of the art world in New York in that long period, and very few of these artists would have entered our collection if it hadn’t been for this gift.”
Bruno’s career in the arts began after encountering Vincent van Gogh’s paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1948. This experience “set him on the path of seeking out great artists,” Black said, adding that Bruno developed a relationship with the van Gogh family and stayed with them in 1950. He would later become acquainted with Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, and other prominent artists.
An exhibition of 19 works that are part of the gift will go on view at the Hunterian next week, and the institution will stage a larger presentation of the works early next year.
“I am so looking forward to seeing my gifts on a Scottish wall,” Bruno said in a statement.