Contemporary Art

The Museum’s growing collection of Contemporary Art reflects the diverse and provocative ideas, materials, and processes being explored by international artists today. It also reflects the enthusiasm of donors who have contributed both significant art and funds for acquisitions. In 1995, Barbara and Melvin Nessel donated more than seventy works in a variety of media to increase the Museum’s holdings of modern and contemporary American and European art including the 1968 canvas by Frank Stella, Yazd II (Khurasan Gate Stretch Variation). In 2002 Catherine and Gilbert Brownstone generously donated their outstanding collection of more than fifty paintings, sculpture and works on paper emphasizing Minimalism, including examples by American and European artists such as Lucio Fontana, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, and John McCracken. These gifts — and others — have transformed the Museum’s permanent collection and mirror the generosity and enthusiasm for contemporary art of its visionary founder. 

More recently, the notable gifts of funds from the Contemporary and Modern Art Council have contributed toward the acquisition of significant artworks including examples by Dan Flavin, William Kentridge, Yinka Shonibare, and Kara Walker. Acquisitions through purchase and gift have brought both well recognized and emerging artists into the collection from sculpture by Joseph Beuys and Nick Cave to paintings by Luke Butler and Jacqueline Humphries.