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Henry Luce Foundation Funds DIA Catalogue of American Paintings

Monday, June 09, 2003

June 9, 2003 (Detroit)—In March 2003, the Henry Luce Foundation generously awarded a $100,000 grant to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) to publish the third volume of a catalogue that chronicles the DIA’s world-class collection of American paintings. The catalogue is titled American Paintings in the Detroit Institute of Arts, Volume III: Works of Artists Born Between 1848 and 1880, and is scheduled for publication in late 2004.

American Paintings is the third in a series of catalogues funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, and like the first two volumes (1991 and 1997), will serve as an important addition to scholarship on American paintings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Detroit Institute of Arts has what is widely regarded as one of the best collections of American paintings in the United States. James W. Tottis, DIA acting curator of American Art and catalogue project director, characterizes the collection as encyclopedic, representing all major movements and artists from the colonial period through the Ash Can School and into the early stages of Modernism. This third and final volume in the set will address work by artists from the American Impressionist, Tonalist and Realist movements, such as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, John Sloan and Childe Hassam.

Volume III includes rare works by prominent American artists: Classical Figure, one of the few painted panel screens produced by Thomas Wilmer Dewing; Alexander Cassatt, one of eight male portraits done by Mary Cassatt; The Seasons’ Triptych, painted by Dewing and Dwight W. Tryon, and framed by Stanford White—the only time all three worked together on one commission. In total, the catalogue features essays on 129 paintings, biographies of 82 painters born between 1848 and 1880, and extends beyond previous editions with the inclusion of modernists such as Lyonel Feininger, John Marin, Florine Stettheimer and Marsden Hartley.

Established in 1936 by the late co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., the Henry Luce Foundation is a significant supporter of American art scholarship, and also has interests in many other fields, including higher education, Asian-American relations, the study of religion, opportunities for women in science and engineering, and environmental and public policy.

The DIA is located at 5200 Woodward Avenue in Detroit’s University Cultural Center. Museum hours are Wednesdays–Thursdays, 10 a.m.– 4 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Suggested admission is $4 adults, $1 children and free for DIA members. Programs are made possible with the support of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit. For more information contact the DIA at 313.833.7900 or visit the Web site at