TOLEDO — The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) added 25 exceptional works of art to its renowned and comprehensive collection this fall. Among the outstanding objects acquired through purchase and gifts to the Museum are a standout work on paper by the innovative Spanish surrealist painter Remedios Varo; iconic 20th-century photographs by American masters Alfred Stieglitz and Andreas Feininger donated by longtime TMA supporter Spencer Stone; textile by pioneering American fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott; contemporary glass objects by Clare Belfrage and Preston Singletary gifted by Toledo philanthropist Ann Hartmann; 15th-century Ethiopian illuminated manuscript on parchment; and a 16th-century German chandelier.
“The addition of these thrilling works of art, which reflect a variety of media, approaches and cultures, will ensure that the Toledo Museum of Art can share an even greater diversity of stories and traditions through our collection and offer a more welcoming and connective experience for all of our visitors,” said Adam M. Levine, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director.
The tour-de-force work by Varo – “Cazadora de astros (La luna aprisionada)” (1956) depicts the moon imprisoned by an entrancing huntress, whose imposing yet wraithlike figure fills nearly the entire composition. Additional recent acquisitions include the quilt-like fabric and mixed-media work by Talford Scott entitled “Flower Garden, #1” (1989); Ethiopian Psalter with Wəddase Maryam and the Canticles of the Prophets; German “Wild Man Chandelier (Lustermännchen)”; and fourth or fifth century (late Roman or early Merovingian) green glass claw beaker. TMA’s other standout purchases include two vibrant works on paper, “New Orleans” (2001) and “Girl” (2004), by Harlem Renaissance legend Gwendolyn Knight; innovative cast glass work “Untitled” (2021) by contemporary American artist Thaddeus Wolfe; Italian panel of a reliquary diptych with the crucifixion and saints (about 1370-1390) of gilt and painted wood; and 16th-century Ethiopian diptych icon with Saint George and four saints.
The 15 gifts to TMA’s collection encompass significant photographs by Marion Post Wolcott (“Tenant Farmer’s Children”), George Tice (“Buggy, Farmhouse, and Windmill, Lancaster, Pennsylvania”), Ralph Steiner (“American Rural Baroque” and “Typewriter Keys”), Josef Sudek (“Park Scene”), Andreas Feininger (“Zebra Thorn Shell”), Inge Morath (“Alexander Calder at Work”), Arnold Genthe (“Blanche Yurka”) and Alfred Stieglitz (“Portrait of Marie Rapp-Boursault”). These images add to TMA’s strong 20th-century modernist photography holdings, allowing for a broader understanding of the medium’s history and storytelling capacities.
Complementing TMA’s globally renowned glass collection are a number of new additions by leading practitioners. Judith Schaechter’s “Bust” (2014) is a dramatically twisting figure of kiln cast glass. Nicole Ayliffe’s “Coast at Byron Bay” (2007) embodies a photographic image of Byron Bay in Australia onto the surface of the blown glass vessel. The curved oblong shapes of Clare Belfrage’s “Trio in Teal” (2014) and the totemic presences of Giles Bettison’s “Vista 09 #10” (2009) and Preston Singletary’s “At First Light” (2014) explore the possibilities of glass expression and creativity, while Jack Schmidt’s “Precious Stone Series #67” (about 2000-08) articulates a mix of geometric abstraction and balance.
Since its founding in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has earned a global reputation for the quality of its collections, innovative and extensive education programs and architecturally significant campus. Thanks to the benevolence of its founders, as well as the continued support of its members, TMA remains a privately endowed, non-profit institution and opens its collection to the public, free of charge. The Museum seeks to become the model art museum in the country, leading the way in genuinely and creatively engaging its communities and fostering a sense of belonging for all its audiences.