Paley collection coming to BMA in fall of 1993


The extremely important William S. Paley collection of modern art, bequeathed to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and now showing there, will come to the Baltimore Museum of Art in the fall of 1993 as part of a national tour, BMA director Arnold L. Lehman announced yesterday.

Consisting of more than 80 works, mainly paintings but also sculpture and drawings, the collection ranges from 19th century European early modern artists including Manet, Cezanne, Degas, Lautrec and Vuillard to mid-20th century American abstract artists including Jackson Pollock, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell and Kenneth Noland.

A number of leading artists are represented by multiple works. Among the Picassos is his 1905-1906 Rose period "Boy Leading a Horse," a world famous painting that once belonged to Gertrude and Leo Stein, and the major cubist painting "The Architect's Table" of 1912.

The six Matisses include the early "Lucien Guitry as Cyrano de Bergerac" (1903); "Odalisque With a Tambourine" (1926) and "Woman With a Veil" (1927) from his Nice period; and "Seated pTC Woman With a Vase of Narcissus" (1941).

There is a Gauguin painting, "Washerwomen," from the fall of 1888 when he stayed in Arles with van Gogh, as well as a Tahitian painting, "The Seed of the Areoi" (1892). Cezanne's five works include "Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat" (1875-1876); a still life, "Milk Can and Apples" (1879-1880); and a landscape, "L'Estaque" (1882-1883).

Other artists represented include Europeans Pierre Bonnard, Andre Derain, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Georges Rouault and Alberto Giacometti and Americans Edward Hopper, Al Held, George Segal and Ben Shahn.

William Paley (1901-1990), the broadcast giant who founded CBS and controlled it for more than 50 years, began collecting art in 1935 with his purchase of the Cezanne self-portrait. According to art historian William Rubin's introduction to the collection catalog, Paley did his most intense collecting in the late 1930s.

In November 1990 at the announcement that the collection would go to MOMA, museum director Richard E. Oldenburg called it "one of the most significant [gifts] ever presented to this institution." The collection will be shown at the BMA from Oct. 31, 1993, to Jan. 9, 1994. Its national tour will also take it to Los Angeles, New Orleans and Seattle. The museum has not yet decided whether the show will be time-ticketed or whether there will be a charge in addition to museum admission to see the collection.

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