The Rose Enlarges Its Paper Trail

MODERN MASTERS: The Salny gift includes Ellsworth Kelly's "Green Curve" (1999).
© Ellsworth Kelly and Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
MODERN MASTERS: The Salny gift includes Ellsworth Kelly's "Green Curve" (1999).

In November, the Rose Art Museum announced that Baltimore businessman/author/collector Stephen M. Salny has made a promised gift of 48 works on paper by leading contemporary artists, including Josef Albers, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Damien Hirst, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, Robert Motherwell and Sean Scully.

Museum officials say Salny’s gift will augment major strengths of the Rose’s collection, which currently includes paintings and other works by some of the artists represented in the gift, notably Kelly, Johns, Motherwell and Frankenthaler. The gift will also extend the museum’s holdings in new directions, including bringing the Rose its first work by Hirst.

Selections from the gift will be displayed at the Rose next spring.

“Steve’s vision goes to the heart of what the Rose Art Museum’s holdings represent,” says Christopher Bedford, the museum’s Henry and Lois Foster Director. “Featuring some of the best artists of the postwar era, his collection gathers works of extraordinary passion held in balance with uncommon elegance. It will enrich our exhibitions and ability to serve as a center of research and instruction in postwar modern and contemporary art.”

Brandeis holds special meaning for Salny. His grandfather Samuel M. Salny was a friend of the university from its founding. Samuel and his wife, Rae, established one of the earliest endowed fellowships for graduate studies at the young university. June Salny, Steve’s mother, introduced her son to the arts at an early age in part through programs led by Lois Foster at the Rose.

Central to the promised donation are 11 lithographs by Kelly, dating from 1970 to 2012, including “Blue-Green” (1970), “Green Curve” (1999) and “Dartmouth” (2011). Their addition to the collection will allow the Rose to showcase Kelly’s achievements across 50 years, beginning with his landmark 1962 painting “Blue White,” currently a centerpiece of the museum’s collection.

Other highlights include four prints by Motherwell: “Djarum” (1975), “Red Open With White Line” (1979), “Summer Trident” (1990) and “The Black Wall” (1981). The Rose already holds Motherwell’s oil on canvas “Elegy to the Spanish Republic, No. 58” (1957-61).

Frankenthaler’s aquatint “Ganymede” (1978) and etching “Sunshine After Rain” (1987) are also part of the gift.