The Springfield Art Museum announced the acquisition of 98 works of art to their permanent collection. Works range in media from original illustrations, to large-scale watermedia, to photography, linocuts, cartoons, and mixed media. Artists range from Pablo Picasso to local notables Rose O’Neill, Bob Palmer, and Bruce West, to contemporary diverse voices, Romero Britto and Jordan Eagles.
Fifty-nine of the works are by Rose O’Neill and were gifted to the Museum from the Rose O’Neill Foundation. Fifteen of the 59 gifted works were recently on view in the retrospective exhibition, Frolic of the Mind: The Illustrious Life of Rose O’Neill. The Rose O’Neill Foundation’s generous gift substantially enriches the Museum’s small extant collection of O’Neill’s work and will allow the Museum to continue to mount focused exhibitions about O’Neill in the future, while also serving as a resource for researchers.
Thirty-one of the works are original cartoons by Robert “Bob” Palmer, Pulitzer Prize nominee and Springfield’s longest working political cartoonist. These works were the generous gift of David Snider. Two works are by former Museum director (1951-1977) and Watercolor USAco-founder Kenneth Shuck, gifted by Jerry-Mac Johnston. Two additional works by photographer and retired Missouri State University professor Bruce West were gifted by the artist.
The final four works by Pablo Picasso, former Watercolor USA Juror Rob Erdle, contemporary Brazilian artist Romero Britto, and LGBTQ+ artist and advocate Jordan Eagles were the gifts of Maureen Sando, John Cooper, and Robert Bohlen and Lillian Montalto, respectively.
These 98 works fulfill several of the Museum’s established collecting priorities including Art of the Midwest, Contemporary American Watermedia, and Contextual Acquisitions allowing for expanded interpretation opportunities for the existing collection and adding diverse voices and underrepresented communities to the permanent collection.
Curator of Art Sarah Buhr notes, “These incredible gifts allow us to build deeper and more nuanced connections within the collection. The new Palmer acquisitions will be featured in a large-scale exhibition coming in 2020. The addition of Jordan Eagles’ work allows us to draw attention to fair and equitable blood donation policy issues faced by our LGBTQ+ community. Eagles’ work will be on view in the upcoming re-installation of the Museum’s permanent collection exhibition, Creating an American Identity, opening in January 2019.
The Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 East Brookside Drive. View the current special 90th Anniversary exhibition Decades: 90 Years of Collecting through February 17, 2019. Admission is always free. Donations are gratefully accepted.