San Diego Museums Receive Significant Bequest
A private art collection amassed over more than 30 years is returning home to San Diego, bringing to the city masterpieces of minimalism and of German Expressionism. The San Diego Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) are both the recipients of a major bequest from the late Dr. Vance E. Kondon and his wife Elisabeth Giesberger. Kondon was one of San Diego’s premier art collectors and an avid supporter of the city’s cultural scene. His collection ranged from figurative works from the first half of the 20th century to refined abstract pieces from 1950 forward.
The San Diego Museum of Art received 48 German Expressionist paintings, drawings, and prints. Key works include important paintings, watercolors, and drawings by Otto Dix; two paintings by Alexej von Jawlensky and four by Gabriele Munter; and two drawings by Gustav Klimt. The true highlights, however, are an erotic drawing by Egon Shiele and a large double-sided painting by Max Pechstein. Other major artists represented in the collection include Max Beckman, George Grosz, Ernst Kirchner, Oskar Kokoschka, and Emil Nolde.
“What makes this gift truly special is the rarity of the works of art we are inheriting,” said Roxana Velásquez, Executive Director at The San Diego Museum of Art. “We are honored to be a part of this exceptional endowment and to hang these new works of art alongside our already existing compilation of Expressionist paintings and drawings. This gift will bring extraordinary depth to our world-class permanent collection.”
MCASD received 30 important works of contemporary art from the 1950s to the early 1980s. “True museum collections are built upon this type of generous philanthropy,” said Hugh Davies, the David C. Copley director and CEO at MCASD. “As a past board member, Vance Kondon’s collection represents the sensibilities of the museum and its commitment to reductive abstraction. Simply receiving Robert Ryman’s canvas, Cable, would have been gift enough, but Vance Kondon went further by gifting 30 works that together reflect his legacy even as they expand upon the Museum’s own identity. We are truly honored to receive this incredible gift.”
Highlighting the bequest, the San Diego Museum of Art will in the summer of 2012 dedicate an exhibition to German Expressionism, featuring the new acquisitions, works previously in the permanent collection, and a select group of loans. The Human Beast: German Expressionism at the San Diego Museum of Art will be on view from July 21 – November 11, 2012.
Further details about the bequest can be read on the San Diego Union Tribune Arts Page.
All images are from the bequest of the Estate of Vance E. Kondon and Elisabeth Giesberger, ©ARS.