Huntington Added 50+ American Works in 2021

Charles Bird King, Moanahonga (Great Walker), An Ioway Chief, about 1824. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

A Huntington press release announces that 2021 has been a "banner year" for American art acquisitions, with over 50 works added. Besides high-profile Thomas Cole and Kehinde Wiley paintings announced previously, acquisitions include two Gee's Bend quilts by Mary Lee Bendolph; paintings by Charles Bird King, Lockwood de Forest, and Enrique Martínez Celaya; a Herter Brothers dining chair from William H. Vanderbilt's Fifth Avenue mansion; photographs by Lola Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Mercedes Dorame, and Cara Romero. The group clearly reflects the desire to build an American collection that looks more like America. It includes the Huntington's first pieces by Indigenous photographers and by Latinx artists from both sides of the Rio Grande. Enrique Martínez Celaya's painting The Crown is dated 2015. Between that and the 2021 Wiley, it would seem the Huntington is now collecting contemporary American painting. (When the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries opened in 1984, the most contemporary piece was the 1935 Edward Hopper.)

Many of these new works will be on view in "Borderlands," an installation in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art that opens Nov. 20.

Mary Lee Bendolph, Image of Formal Presidents, 2000 (Cotton quilt). (c) by Bendolph's Creative Video Services, courtesy of Mary Lee Bendolph
Lola Álvarez Bravo, Portrait of Frida Kahlo (arms crossed), about 1945. (c) Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona Foundation
Herter Brothers, Dining Chair, 1881-82. Photo: Eric W. Baumgartner. Courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Galleries
Lockwood de Forest, Bank of the Nile Opposite Cairo, Egypt, 1879–86
Cara Romero, Hermosa, 2021. (c) Cara Romero. All Rights Reserved


Super additions.
I'll take 10 of those Herter Bros. chairs.