The University Art Collection grew a little larger and great deal deeper with the recent acquisition of several important paintings and works on paper. We recently received a gift of Dutch ‘old master’ paintings from Abbe and Lloyd Hascoe (SU ’78, SU ’81) along with three ‘art nouveau’ drawings.
The paintings are by Joost van Geel and Adriaen van Ostade, both 17th century artists known for their religious and genre paintings. Christ Healing Peter’s Mother-in-law was long considered by scholars to be a late work by Gabriel Metsu (also a 17th century Dutch artist and possible teacher to van Geel.) One of only twenty known works by the hand of this Dutch master, other paintings by van Geel are in such museums as the Hermitage and the Rijksmuseum. The Adriaen van Ostade painting is called The Slaughtered Pig and has been the subject of debate by scholars who disagree about its authorship. But these disagreements are all in the family. Recently attributed to Adriaen, the painting has often been considered the work of his younger brother, Isack van Ostade. Both brothers are important painters who have works in the art collections at the National Gallery, the Hermitage, the Louvre, and the Rijksmuseum. These paintings and their authorship will challenge our students in years to come and promise to be the subject of many term papers for our fine arts and art history faculty.
While the art nouveau drawings do not present any challenges of authorship, they were created by the capable hand of Alfons Mucha, the pieces will offer our students different curatorial challenges. A few of them might be…Were these drawings studies for his poster designs or paintings? What is the provenance or history of ownership for these drawings? Are the drawings representations of specific people? The addition of these works, and others like them, enhance the educational potential of the Art Galleries. We are indebted to Abbe and Lloyd Hascoe for their generosity and vision.
Another important addition to the Art Collection recently came to us from the Maryknoll Sisters and specifically Sister Jean Pruitt. In 1972, after several years serving the wider population of Dar es Salaam and Tanzania, Sister Jean helped found the art school that became known as Nyumba ya Sanaa (House of Art.) The school has been home to several notable African artists including George Lilanga, Henry Likonde, Edward Kiiza and others. Sister Jean was looking for a permanent home to house a collection of art assembled over a thirty-year period and after a visit to Syracuse and the Art Galleries she thought we would be a perfect home for nearly 175 pieces of art. A primary goal for Sister Jean was to make the collection accessible to students, especially area inner city school children.