Installation view of An Extraordinary Legacy: The Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler Collection at GRAM.

For Immediate Release

GRAM Presents An Extraordinary Legacy: The Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler Collection

Exhibition celebrates the legacy of Miner and Mary Ann Keeler through 65 works of modern and contemporary art 

Grand Rapids, MI, May 10, 2022 — The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) today announced the opening of An Extraordinary Legacy: The Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler Collection, an exhibition of 65 works of modern and contemporary art at GRAM. Opening May 17 and on view through October 8, 2022, the exhibition celebrates the transformative gift of art given to the given to the Museum from the Keeler Collection between 1976 and 2021, and includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum is thrilled to celebrate the profound impact of Miner and Mary Ann Keeler on the Museum, and on the city of Grand Rapids, with An Extraordinary Legacy,” commented GRAM Advancement Director Elly Barnette-Dawson. From its inception, the Museum’s permanent collection has grown primarily through the generosity of individual donors. This dynamic gift from the Keelers ensures our community has access to these cherished works of art for generations to come.”

The Keelers’ artistic legacy is built upon their civic and institutional involvement, as well as their personal art collecting. Miner and Mary Ann Keeler had the vision to make art accessible to all in Grand Rapids and were pivotal supporters of downtown revitalization and many local cultural organizations. The couple was central to bringing Alexander Calder’s sculpture, La Grande Vitesse, to downtown Grand Rapids in 1969, as well as the kinetic sculpture Motu Viget, by Mark di Suvero in 1977, and Alexis Smith’s The Grand to DeVos Hall in 1983.

An Extraordinary Legacy is focused on artists who emerged as artistic leaders between 1940 and 1990, a vibrant period in American and European art. The artists represented in the exhibition include Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Diego Rivera, Alexander Calder, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, Mark di Suvero, Andy Warhol, Janet Fish, and Alexis Smith.

GRAM Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen observed, As cultural and philanthropic leaders, the Keelers’ impact has been highly visible in public art for over five decades, however their personal collecting is lesser known. In gathering the paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints that they bought and lived with in their mid-century modern home, An Extraordinary Legacyreveals the Keelers’ dramatic range of aesthetic interests and a sustained engagement with the evolving ideas which shaped 20th century art. Their gift is a transformative addition to the Museum’s collection.”

An Extraordinary Legacy is divided into three sections: Sculpture and Sculptors’ Works on Paper explores the significance of sculpture and sculptors in the Keelers’ lives and advocacy. European Modern Masters shares works that illuminate important art historical movements including Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Expressionism. American Art: From Representation to Abstraction (and Back Again) spans the years 1921 to 1995, focusing on the dynamic tension between realism and abstraction in American art.

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, GRAM Members are invited to join us for a Member Morning on Saturday, May 21:

Member Morning: An Extraordinary Legacy
Saturday, May 21
10 am – 12 pm
GRAM Members are invited to attend a special morning viewing of An Extraordinary Legacy. Join us in the auditorium for coffee and pastries, and then head up to Level 3 for the opportunity to chat with museum docents and learn more about these remarkable works from the Keeler Collection.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by the Lead Exhibition Society Sponsor Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation. Additional support provided by the GRAM Exhibition Society and the Friends of the Keelers Giving Group.

About the Grand Rapids Art Museum 
Connecting people through art, creativity, and design. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the art museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Established in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 6,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th-century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft. 

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