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Tate Acquires Sylvia Pankhurst’s Watercolors, and North Carolina Museum of Art Acquires William Wetmore Sculpture

Plus, the Telfair Museums are gifted 347 photographs by Bruce Davidson.

Sylvia Pankhurst, "In a Glasgow Cotton Spinning Mill: Changing the Bobbin" (1907) (image courtesy the Tate)
Sylvia Pankhurst, “In a Glasgow Cotton Spinning Mill: Changing the Bobbin” (1907) (image courtesy the Tate)

The Tate has acquired four 1907 watercolors by the women’s rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst. The watercolors were acquired directly from the artist’s grandchildren, Helen Pankhurst and Alula Pankhurst, through funds provided from the Denise Coates Foundation. Currently, they are on display at the Scarborough Art Gallery through January 6, 2019, and they will go on display at Tate Britain in 2020. “These watercolors enable Tate to represent Sylvia Pankhurst in the collection for the first time and to expand the way we represent working women as subjects in art history,” said Ann Gallagher, Director of Collection (British Art) at the Tate. “At a time when gender pay gaps and women’s rights at work remain urgent topical issues, these images remind us of the role art can play in inspiring social change.”

William Wetmore Story, "Saul Under the Influence of the Evil Spirit" (1865), marble with original marble base in three sections, H. 64 x W. 34 x D. 64 1/2 inches, base: H. 34 1/2 x W. 39 1/4 x D. 68 3/4 inches (image courtesy North Carolina Museum of Art, Gift of Anne Faircloth and Frederick Beaujeu-Dufour in honor of John W. Coffey)
William Wetmore Story, “Saul Under the Influence of the Evil Spirit” (1865), marble with original marble base in three sections, H. 64 x W. 34 x D. 64 1/2 inches, base: H. 34 1/2 x W. 39 1/4 x D. 68 3/4 inches (image courtesy North Carolina Museum of Art, Gift of Anne Faircloth and Frederick Beaujeu-Dufour in honor of John W. Coffey)

The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) has acquired William Wetmore Story’s sculpture, “Saul Under the Influence of the Evil Spirit” (1865). The sculpture was completed in Rome, then exhibited in Dublin and purchased by an English aristocrat for his home in Gloucestershire. The statue then disappeared for 150 years. Later, the home in Gloucestershire became Rendcomb College, a private boarding school, and they sold the statue to the NCMA. John Coffey, NCMA curator of American and modern art, said, “I have been after this statue for more than seven years. Our American galleries have cried out for a monumental marble of a dramatic subject, and you cannot get more monumental or dramatic than King Saul of the Bible.” The statue is currently on view in Studio 4 on the entrance level of the Museum’s East Building, and it will undergo a cleaning, along with a repair of its right big toe. The public is invited to view the cleaning process by NCMA objects conservator Corey Riley.

Bruce Davidson, "Untitled," <em>Brooklyn Gang</em> series (1959), mid-vintage gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches, Gift of an anonymous donor (© Bruce Davidson 2018, image courtesy Telfair Museums)
Bruce Davidson, “Untitled,” Brooklyn Gang series (1959), mid-vintage gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches, Gift of an anonymous donor (© Bruce Davidson 2018, image courtesy Telfair Museums)

The Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia have received a gift of 347 works by American photographer Bruce Davidson. The donation comes from an anonymous donor and spans from 1956 to 2008. “History and human nature are deftly revealed through the empathetic eye of Bruce Davidson,” said Erin Dunn, assistant curator at the Telfair Museums. “This momentous gift not only allows us to revel in the individual photographs of Davidson, but to appreciate his entire career’s worth of noteworthy subjects and imagery. The photographs stand on their own, but will also complement themes and subject matters already evident in the Telfair Museums’ permanent collection.”

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