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The Director

August Director’s Message

Dear Friends,
One of the distinguishing traits of the museum is the exceptional quality and depth of our surrealist collection. Our well-known Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach (1938) by Salvador Dalí has returned following the major Dalí retrospective at London’s Royal Academy and is newly installed–temporarily, among a selection of related surrealist works–in the galleries adjacent to the Morgan Great Hall. This month it and other surrealist highlights are moving around as we prepare this autumn’s exhibition Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s.
That groundbreaking Surrealism project also presents a great opportunity to reimagine the Avery Court. For at least two decades, essentially the same set of modernist paintings have been on view there, surrounding the fountain and one of the great Baroque sculptures in America, Pietro Francavilla’s Venus with a Nymph and Satyr (1600). Thanks to a cross-disciplinary curatorial effort the refreshed court will take a broader look at Modernism, incorporating European and American paintings as well as decorative arts and jewelry designed by Alexander Calder. The new installation highlights the dynamism of the first half of the 20th century, a time of radical change and innovation characterized by the transatlantic exchange of styles and methods among artists of the day.
Some of the important paintings you’re used to seeing in this space–Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Blue and White (1935), Pablo Picasso’s The Painter (1934)–will remain, soon to be accompanied by additional excellent works from the collection such as Diego Rivera’s Young Girl With a Mask (1939) and Jackson Pollock’s Number 8 (1952). Together, the artworks on view will focus on the concurrent–and at times convergent–exchanges taking place through disciplines and movements in Modern art. I invite you to have a closer look on your next visit.

Reconsidering our collection and presenting the art in our care in new, innovative ways is an ongoing effort, part of our commitment to advancing knowledge and inspiring our visitors. I hope you will join us again this summer–you are certain to experience something new.

Thomas J. Loughman
Director and CEO