GREENWICH, Connecticut — The Bruce Museum has announced a large pledged donation of two exceptional works on paper by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse by William L. Richter, Greenwich resident and longtime supporter of the Bruce Museum. by Picasso Bouquet of flowers (1909-10) and Matisse self-portrait (1944) will go on display for the first time in the William L. Richter Art Wing when the new Bruce Museum opens in spring 2023.
Both works frame the high period of European modernism and underscore the direction of the New Bruce set by Bruce Museum Managing Director and CEO Susan E. Lynch, Robert Wolterstorff: to focus on the trajectory of modernism, from the Impressionists in France and in the USA. to the global phenomenon of contemporary art in our time.
“Words cannot express how thrilled I am to see these two powerful works enter the Bruce Collection,” said Mr. Wolterstorff. “Together they send a strong signal of the direction of the New Bruce as a museum that explores the global histories of modern and contemporary art. I am deeply grateful to William Richter for all of his support for the New Bruce, and especially now for this extraordinary gift of art.
“It is an honor for me to donate these works to the Bruce Museum in honor of Robert Wolterstorff and his vision of the New Bruce,” said Mr. Richter. “Picasso and Matisse are fundamental figures of modernism, and I specifically chose these works as an affirmation of the collection’s continued growth and my faith in its vision for the future.”
Picasso’s painting on paper, Bouquet of Flowers (Bouquet of Flowers), dates from 1909-10, an early period in the artist’s career when he was pioneering a Cubist style. “This gouache reflects the burgeoning aesthetic of Cubism, including the complex fracturing of form and space that would become a hallmark of his career,” said Bruce Museum art curator Margarita Karasoulas. “It is a transformative addition to our modernism collections, especially our works on paper.”
The Matisse Self-Portrait (Self-Portrait), a line drawing in black ink on paper, dates from 1944, towards the end of the artist’s career. It is the first work by Matisse to enter the Bruce collection. “Matisse produced only a small number of painted and drawn self-portraits throughout his prolific career,” Ms. Karasoulas noted. “Completed towards the end of his life, this drawing reveals a remarkable economy and elegance of line. In a few elementary pencil strokes, Matisse masterfully expresses his identity as an artist.
Mr. Richter, who also generously donated $15 million for the new art wing that will bear his name, will be honored at this year’s Bruce Museum gala, “Framing the Future,” on May 14. For more than 30 years, the Bruce Museum Gala has been a highly anticipated spring event that benefits the Museum’s programs and operations, with this year’s theme inspired by the vision of the New Bruce.
The announcement of Mr. Richter’s donation follows the recent announcement of a pledged donation by a private collector of 70 works of American and European painting, sculpture and works on paper.
Press images: Bill Richter Gift – OneDrive (sharepoint.com)
Photo credit: Paul Mutino
About the new Bruce
Located in Bruce Park overlooking Greenwich Harbour, The Bruce Museum is a world-class community institution that offers a changing range of exhibits and educational programs to promote understanding and appreciation of art and science.
For more than a century, the Bruce Museum has delighted and engaged its visitors by presenting exceptional exhibits on art, science and the intersections between the two disciplines. In 2019, the AAM-accredited museum broke ground on its current expansion project, which will take the building from 33,000 to over 70,000 square feet. The New Bruce will feature state-of-the-art exhibition, education and community spaces including: a changing art gallery and five new permanent galleries in the new William L. Richter
Arts Wing; a changing gallery for science; a new permanent scientific exhibition, Natural cycles shape our earth; three new classrooms in the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Education Wing; and a bistro, auditorium and large hall. The new building connects the Museum to its scenic Bruce Park setting in a dramatic new way. The new Bruce campus will feature a landscaped walking path lined with sculptures and inviting spaces for relaxation and contemplation – natural enhancements to Bruce Park and an anchor connection to the Greenwich Avenue Mall. The official opening of the New Bruce is scheduled for spring 2023.