A Decade at the Center: Recent Gifts and Acquisitions

Jan 26, 2019 — Apr 28, 2019
Level 2 Changing Exhibition Galleries

The Grand Rapids Art Museum closes out a yearlong celebration of the Museum’s first decade at 101 Monroe Center with an exhibition featuring gifts and acquisitions to the permanent collection from the last five years.

The exhibition spans all areas in which GRAM collects, from 19th century paintings to contemporary art, mid-century modern furniture to vintage photography, and rare Renaissance engravings to historical design objects. The exhibition represents a broad spectrum of human creativity and innovation sure to spark the imagination. Nearly half of the works in the exhibition are on public view for the first time. 

The exhibition comprises recent museum purchases, as well as gifts and promised gifts from numerous generous individuals and institutions. In some cases, these acquisitions expand the museum’s holding of works by particular artists, such as Mathis J. Alten, Andy Warhol, Richard Diebenkorn, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, and Alex Katz, or, introduce important artists new to the collection, including Oswaldo Vigas, Dawoud Bey, and Carrie Mae Weems. A pair of 15th century engravings by Martin Schongauer are the oldest works in the exhibition, promised gifts of Cate and Sid Jansma Jr., founders of GRAM’s extraordinary Jansma Print Collection. Notable new contemporary works will be on view as well, including a print by American artist Kara Walker in her recognizable silhouette-style, a promised gift from Martin and Enid Packard, important long-time supporters of GRAM.

GRAM’s commitment to exhibiting and collecting design and craft is illustrated by the inclusion of important works of furniture, ceramics, glass, and industrial design. This section of the exhibition features highlights from GRAM’s design collection dating from the early 19th century to the present. From chairs and lamps to tableware and electronics, these objects marry function and beauty and show the power design has to enhance our daily lives. On view for the first time are several pieces from a major new gift of over 100 design objects from one of the premier American collectors. This generous gift will greatly expand the museum’s design holdings and better tell the story of West Michigan’s rich history as a leading center of design and manufacturing.

With this exhibition, GRAM celebrates the crucial role of gifts in our ongoing effort to build one of the most notable collections in the American Midwest. Since the Museum’s inception in 1910, the generosity of our patrons has been crucial to building our permanent collection of over 6,000 objects. 

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:
Wege Foundation
James and Mary Nelson
Cate and Sid Jansma, Jr.
Dirk and June Hoffius
Greg and Meg Willit
Kurt and Madelon Hassberger
Haworth, Inc. 

Additional funding is provided by the GRAM Exhibition Society.

Installation Photography