Toledo Museum of Art receives gift of more than 70 works of art

Press Staff Writer

        The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has received a promised gift of more than 70 works of art, including pieces by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Richard Diebenkorn, Anish Kapoor, Martin Puryear and Kara Walker.
        The gift from Georgia Welles supports TMA's strategic initiative to broaden the narrative of art history and better reflect its audience in the art on view. Among the works gifted are a major painting from Richard Diebenkorn’s celebrated Ocean Park series, “Ocean Park No. 32” (1970); Roxy Paine’s large-scale outdoor sculpture, “Untitled Tree” [Ohio] (2003); and Martin Puryear’s “Bound Cone” (1973).
        “This generous gift from Georgia Welles is transformative for our collection,” said Adam Levine, Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director of the Museum. “By opening up her collection to our curators and allowing us to select so many high-quality works of art that fill gaps in our collection, she has enabled us to take a crucial step toward our collecting goals.”
        Welles, a longtime supporter of the Museum, led the committee that selected SANAA to build the Museum’s renowned Glass Pavilion, and she and her husband David were the lead donors to the campaign for its construction. At the Museum’s centenary, the couple donated numerous sculptures to what is now known as the David and Georgia Welles Sculpture Garden, which runs across TMA’s 37-acre campus. She also founded the Apollo Society, a group of donors who annually pool their dues to purchase works for TMA’s collection. The group has purchased more than 50 works of art ranging from ancient jewelry to contemporary sculpture since its founding in 1986.
        “It is a joy to continue to support this institution that I love so much,” Mrs. Welles said. “This collection emerged from deep engagement with the Toledo Museum of Art, and it is an honor to be able to gift it and support the exciting direction in which it is headed.”          
        After Mrs. Welles’ children identified the works they would like to retain, TMA’s curators were allowed to select art from the Welles collection. The works, part of her estate, will be transferred posthumously. Additional items from the collection will be donated to the Vero Beach Museum, another institution long supported by the family and where Georgia Welles founded the Athena Society.


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