National Gallery Receives Big Photo Gift From New York Couple

The National Gallery of Art in Washington is adding nearly 100 works to its photography collection, including prime examples by major artists from the 1960s and ’70s, according to the New York Times. The photographs come from the collection of Eileen and Michael Cohen of New York, in a part-gift, part-purchase transaction arranged by the Chelsea dealer David Zwirner.

There is a rare black-and-white print of Bruce Nauman’s “Self-Portrait as a Fountain,” his seminal 1966 work that nods to Duchamp’s famous ready-made of 1917. Also included are several pieces by members of Arte Povera, the 1960s Italian movement that used everyday materials as a way to blur the lines between art and life. These photographs are the National Gallery’s first Arte Povera acquisitions in any medium.

But many of the photographs dovetail with the museum’s holdings of paintings, drawings and prints. “We had a number of works by these artists, but few representatives of their photographs,” said Sarah Greenough, the National Gallery’s photography curator.

The museum, for example, has paintings, drawings and prints by Warhol but no photographs. Now it has a set of four of his Polaroid self-portraits.

National Gallery Receives Big Photo Gift From New York Couple