Alex Katz Collection

A legacy for Maine and the world.

Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz

In 1992 artist Alex Katz donated more than 400 of his works to the Colby College Museum of Art. The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz, which opened in 1996 and presents selections from the Katz Collection, was made possible through the generosity of then Colby trustee Paul J. Schupf. The Schupf Wing makes the Colby Museum one of the few in the United States with a wing devoted solely to the work of a single living artist. Schupf has also given a number of major works by Katz, including the large-scale painting Pas de Deux, an iconic painting from 1983, in honor of Hugh J. Gourley III (Museum director 1966-2002). Colby’s collection now includes nearly 900 Katz works. Archival material related to the Katz Collection is available to students and researchers by appointment.

Pas de Deux

Students touring the Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz.
Far wall behind students: Alex Katz, Pas de Deux, 1983, Oil on canvas, 132 x 360 in., Gift of Paul J. Schupf H’91 in honor of Hugh J. Gourley III, 1999.029

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Biography of Alex Katz

Internationally acclaimed artist Alex Katz has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions since the 1950s. Among the most influential painters of his generation, Katz was born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in St. Albans, Queens. From 1946 to 1949 he studied at the Cooper Union in New York City. Katz’s connection with Maine began in 1949, when he received a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. The school’s cofounder, Colby Museum benefactor Willard Cummings, introduced the artist to Colby in the 1950s, and Katz has enjoyed a relationship with the College ever since. A summer resident of Lincolnville, Maine, Katz received an honorary doctorate from the College in 1984, has served on several museum committees, and currently serves on the Museum’s board of governors. Through the Alex Katz Foundation, which the artist founded in 2004, he has placed hundreds of works of art, many of them by contemporary artists, in museum collections in the United States and Europe.

Additional information about the artist may be found at http://www.alexkatz.com.


Architecture of the Paul J. Schupf Wing

The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz is based on plans drawn by the late English architect Max Gordon, who designed the widely admired Saatchi Collection in London. Gordon was described in a New York Times obituary as “an architect internationally known for his mastery of exhibition spaces” and “the architect of choice for museums, dealers’ galleries, and private collections.” After Gordon’s death, his plans were expanded by Scott Teas of TFH Architects in Portland, Maine. The addition contains 10,000 square feet and consists of two 70′ x 36′ galleries, two 36′ x 36′ galleries, a vestibule connecting the gallery to the existing Jetté Galleries and a storage area for work not on view.

The Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz vestibule provides a contemplative space with a view of the courtyard. Far wall: Alex Katz, West 2, 1998, Oil on canvas, 126 in. x 240 in., Promised gift of the artist, 023.2004.

 


Banner Image: Alex Katz, Pas De Deux, 1983, Oil on canvas, 132 in. x 360 in., Gift of Paul J. Schupf, LL.D. '06, in honor of Hugh J. Gourley III, The Paul J. Schupf Wing, 1999.029