The Lichtenstein Foundation has announced it will give four hundred artworks—about half its holdings—to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, one of the biggest single-artist gifts the Whitney has ever received. The Foundation will also give historical material comprising approximately half a million documents to the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art in Washington, DC.
Roy Lichtenstein, Shipboard Girl, 1965 © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
The agreement with the Whitney establishes The Roy Lichtenstein Study Collection, initiated with the promised gift from the Foundation of more than 400 examples of Lichtenstein’s work in all media and from all periods of his career (1940-1997). The collection comprises paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, collages, maquettes, models, study photographs, and drawings by the artist plus studio materials selected to represent Lichtenstein’s artistic practice and process. In the coming years, the Foundation intends to donate additional and related works to the Whitney.
Select examples of the promised art gifts to the Whitney include: Pilot, 1948 [pastel]; Untitled, 1959 [painting]; Man with Chest Expander, c. 1961 [drawing]; Head of Girl, 1964 [sculpture]; Sweet Dreams, Baby!, 1965 [print]; Architecture Photograph, c. 1970 [artist source snapshot]; Artist’s Studio “Look Mickey” (Study), 1973 [drawing]; The Conversation (Study), 1984 [collage]; Painting: Green Brushstrokes, 1984; the monumental sculpture Coups de Pinceau, 1988/2011 (AP); Woman: Sunlight, Moonlight, 1996 [wood model]; and Bellagio Hotel Mural: Still Life with Reclining Nude (Study), 1997 [collage].
About the Whitney Museum of Art
The Whitney Museum of American Art was founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942). The Whitney and Roy Lichtenstein have a distinguished history. The Museum first exhibited Lichtenstein’s work in Decade of American Drawing 1955-1965(1965) and later that year the artist presented Red and White Brushstrokes (1965) in the Whitney’s Annual of Contemporary Painting. His works were subsequently exhibited in seven Annuals and Biennials as well as fifty-nine thematic, group, and one-person exhibitions and collection installations, to include the most recent, the inaugural exhibition at the Whitney’s new downtown location, America is Hard to See (2015).
In 1966, the Museum acquired its first Lichtenstein painting, Little Big Painting (1965), and in 1969 its first sculpture, Modern Sculpture with Velvet Rope (1968). Prior to receipt of hundreds of objects in The Roy Lichtenstein Study Collection, the Whitney collection held twenty-six Lichtenstein works, including paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and the film installation Three Landscapes (1970-71).