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Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection

Lieberman, William S., ed., and Sabine Rewald, with contributions by Dawn Ades, John Ashbery, Jacques Dupin, John Golding, Lawrence Gowing, William S. Lieberman, Philippe de Montebello, Pierre Schneider, and Gary Tinterow
355 pages
218 illustrations
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Beginning in the early 1940s, Jacques and Natasha Gelman formed what is arguably the strongest private collection, in the world, of the art of the School of Paris. The eighty-one paintings, drawings, and bronzes in the Gelman collection, by thirty European artists, provide a remarkable survey of modern art, mainly in France, during the early decades of this century. The artists represented, often by several examples, include Bonnard, Braque, Dalí, Dubuffet, Matisse, Miró, and Picasso. Among the highlights arc Matisse's Young Sailor II (1906), perhaps the most famous of all Fauve portraits; Braque's Still Life with Banderillas (1911), a major Cubist painting; de Chirico's Jewish Angel (1916); and Dalí's Accommodations of Desires (1927), a picture that reveals much about the artist personally, in addition to serving as a pivotal work in the evolution of the Surrealist movement. Of great importance also are fourteen pictures by Picasso, dating from his youth to his old age.

This publication accompanies the first public exhibition of the Gelman's magnificent selection of master works. Sabine Rewald's texts examine these works closely, interpreting them individually as well as in their broader cultural context. New and interesting insights into each work are augmented by the large number of comparative photographs and by the provenance, bibliography, and exhibition histories given for every painting, drawing, and sculpture. The reader is thus presented with an extraordinarily rich overview of this most decisive period in twentieth-century art.

William S. Lieberman, chairman of the Department of 20th Century Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has written an informal introduction that chronicles the Gelmans' collecting activity. Essays by Pierre Schneider, Lawrence Gowing, Gary Tinterow, and Dawn Ades focus on such topics as the School of Paris, Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Also included are appreciations by Jacques Dupin, John Ashbery, and John Golding.

La Revue blanche, Pierre Bonnard  French, Lithograph in four colors on off-white wove paper
Multiple artists/makers
Boulevard, from the series "Some Aspects of Parisian Life", Pierre Bonnard  French, Lithograph in four colors on cream wove paper
ca. 1896
Kouros, Isamu Noguchi  American, Marble

View Citations

Rewald, Sabine, and William S. Lieberman. 1989. Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art : Distributed by H.N. Abrams.