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WATERVILLE, Maine, May 6 — A deluxe set of 100 etchings by Pablo Picasso has been acquired by the Colby College Museum of Art, enhancing the museum’s reputation as a premier global art destination and making work by the renowned artist accessible to the people of Maine and to Colby students for research and study across the disciplines.
The acquisition of Picasso’s Vollard Suite (1939), considered the artist’s most significant set of prints and a hallmark of 20th-century modernist printmaking, was made possible by the generosity of Peter and Paula Lunder, philanthropists, longtime Maine residents, and dedicated Colby College benefactors. The Lunders also gifted their renowned collection of American art to the museum in 2013.
“This is a truly remarkable gift that will be a delight to visitors and create a tremendous set of experiences for the generations of students who will learn from studying this phenomenal series of etchings,” said Colby President David A. Greene. “We are so grateful to the Lunders, whose generosity and unmatched dedication have made the museum a destination for people from around the world and a defining asset of Colby College.”
A large selection of prints from the suite will be on view at the museum from June 2 through Aug. 21, 2016, and the full series will be on view at the museum during spring and summer 2018. The Vollard Suite will be incorporated into many Colby classes starting this fall and will serve as primary objects of study for students in Colby’s Art Department. A future online project will offer an in-depth, interactive exploration of the work.
Read more and see six images from the Vollard Suite at the Colby College Museum of Art.
“This work not only represents an amazing opportunity for Colby students and the College community, but for our many Maine neighbors who visit the museum,” said Sharon Corwin, the Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator of the Colby College Museum of Art. “The Lunders have consistently expressed their interest in making great art available to the people of Maine, and this remarkable gift is yet another expression of that commitment.”
The Vollard Suite is etched in a neoclassical style that Picasso adapted from his studies of classical sculpture, and it traces his artistic development during a critical period in his career. Colby’s Vollard Suite is believed to be one of only eight signed, deluxe sets—the only one held by a collegiate museum, and one of only a handful in this country.
The Lunders have helped to transform the Colby College Museum of Art in many meaningful ways, among them support of museum expansions including the addition of the Lunder Wing in 1999. Their 2013 gift of the Lunder Collection, featuring more than 500 works by American masters and considered one of the most important private collections of its kind, is among the largest donations of artwork ever made to an American college. The Lunders continue to be generous to the museum, with recent gifts of work by Al Held, Maya Lin, Julie Mehretu, Kenneth Noland, and Pat Steir, among others.
Colby College Museum of Art
Founded in 1959, the Colby College Museum of Art comprises five wings, more than 8,000 works of art, and more than 38,000 square feet of exhibition space. Major works by American masters including John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Albert Bierstadt, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, and William Merritt Chase form the core of the historical collection, along with significant holdings of American folk art. The modern movement is represented by important works by artists including John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, George Bellows, and Rockwell Kent. The museum also maintains a significant collection of contemporary American art, including works by Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Agnes Martin, Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin, Kara Walker, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Serra, and Terry Winters. Other principal areas of the collection include Greek and Roman antiquities, European prints and drawings, and early Chinese art. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Admission is free. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. It also is open Thursdays until 9 p.m. during the academic year. The public is invited to join the conversation online via dedicated social communities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@colbymuseum and #colbymuseum). For additional information, please visit colby.edu/museum.
Founded in 1813, Colby is one of America’s most selective colleges. Serving only undergraduates, Colby’s rigorous academic program is rooted in deep exploration of ideas and close interaction with world-class faculty scholars. Students pursue intellectual passions, choosing among 57 majors or developing their own. Independent and collaborative research, study abroad, and internships offer robust opportunities to prepare students for postgraduate success. More than 100 courses at Colby, from across the disciplines, integrate the museum’s resources to enhance the academic experience. Colby is home to a community of 1,850 dedicated and diverse students from around the globe. Its Maine location provides easy access to world-class research institutions and civic engagement experiences.
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