Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Donates 186 Artworks to Five Museums Ahead of Artist’s Centennial

The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has donated 186 artworks to four American museums and one European institution to celebrate the late artist’s centennial anniversary of his birth this October.

The receiving institutions are the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum in New York; and the Albertina in Vienna.

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LACMA and the Whitney will receive the largest share of objects as part of the donation, with 70 and 66 items, respectively, set to be accessioned. LACMA’s gift will compromise of archival materials to Lichtenstein’s three-channel video Three Landscapes (1970–71), which the museum commissioned for its famed 1971 “Art and Technology” exhibition, while the Whitney will receive several preparatory and process works, including rare sketches for Three Landscapes on letterhead for 190 Bowery, where the artist lived at the time.

Other donated works come in a variety of mediums and date from various periods throughout the artist’s career. The Colby Museum, for example, will receive paintings and watercolors from the early 1950s that show Lichtenstein’s experiments in the mediums prior to his adoption of his distinctive style of Pop art, while the Nasher will receive works from later that decade showing his adoption of Abstract Expressionism. The two institutions will jointly own a sculpture of painted scrap wood that seems indebted to Robert Rauschenberg’s Combines, made around this time.

The Albertina will receive 34 works, primarily woodcuts and lithographs made between 1948 and 1997, the year of Lichtenstein’s death.

In a statement, Dorothy Lichtenstein, the artist’s widow and the foundation’s president, said, “Given his modesty, Roy might not have wanted to fuss over this anniversary, but I’m sure he would have been thrilled to know that in his hundredth year, his work looks as fresh, radical, and relevant as ever, and is now being honored as a permanent achievement. The spirit of generosity that ran through everything Roy did is the hallmark of these initial gifts, and we want it to run through the whole centenary.”

Below, a look at some of the works that will be donated.


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