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Metropolitan Museum Receives Group of Important Modern Works and Establishes Fund Supporting Its Collection of Art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas through Generous Bequests of Andrea Bollt

(New York, November 13, 2012)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Estate of Andrea Bollt announced today that eight distinguished modern works by Alexander Calder and Abstract Expressionists Willem de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, and Franz Kline will enter the Metropolitan Museum's collection as a bequest from Andrea Bollt. Mrs. Bollt built her collection with her late husband Robert Bollt, both of whom enjoyed a special friendship with Franz Kline and Alexander Calder.

An additional bequest from Mrs. Bollt provides $2 million to the Metropolitan Museum for the establishment of the Andrea Bollt Fund in Memory of Robert Bollt, Sr. and Robert Bollt, Jr. This fund will be dedicated to maintaining, improving, and expanding the Museum’s Michael C. Rockefeller Collection of Art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Robert Bollt, Jr., Mrs. Bollt's son, was an archaeologist specializing in Pacific archaeology, who received his Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii Manoa.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum, stated: “Mrs. Bollt’s generous bequests will have a significant impact on our collection of art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, as well as our holdings of modern and contemporary art. Her support of these two fields makes a unique contribution to this encyclopedic Museum, and we are truly grateful.”

Three outstanding examples of the work of Alexander Calder (1898-1976) are among the eight modern works given to the Metropolitan Museum and include A Black and White in the Distance, 1931, a spare, elegant line drawing made just as Calder was becoming an abstract artist. Black Clouds, ca. 1939, is a spectacular early mobile with a six-foot wingspan that balances two large sheet-metal elements with painted wooden balls. And Red Curlicue with Six Davits, 1959, an ingenious example of Calder's standing mobiles, features a delicate mobile that floats and spins atop a metal stand.

Three works by the American Abstract Expressionist painter Franz Kline (1910-1962) include Untitled, 1961, an explosively powerful, 12-foot-wide canvas that counts among the artist's finest black-and-white compositions. Despite their small scale, two of Kline's drawings from 1952 and 1953, executed on pages torn from telephone books, are tremendously expressive exploratory sketches. Kline's friend, Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), is represented by one of his Rome drawings, a bold black-and-white collage made during a trip to the Italian capital in 1960. From Grace Hartigan (1922-2008), a second-generation Abstract Expressionist, the bequest includes a colorful painting on paper from ca. 1952 that demonstrates her lively, gestural manner.

George Panaiotopoulos and Irini Vournas, Mrs. Bollts' siblings, are pleased that they were able to facilitate their sister's wish to give such a generous and important gift to the Museum.

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November 13, 2012

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