Huntington acquires new artwork, expands American galleries

Huntington acquires new artwork, expands American galleries
A rendering of the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries expansion, featuring a glass lobby on the building's south face. (Frederick Fisher and Partners)

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is expected to announce Wednesday that it is expanding its Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American art, adding 5,000 square feet of gallery space by summer 2016.

The oldest portion of the Scott galleries is closed for renovation and the expansion. It is the third project of its kind in seven years at the San Marino museum.


The expansion features a new glass entrance and lobby and eight new rooms for art display, 8,600 square feet in all. It is in keeping with the museum's growing commitment to American art, said the announcement from the Huntington's director of art collections, Kevin Salatino.

That commitment was reaffirmed this month at the 21st annual Huntington Art Collectors' Council Meeting, during which the council purchased two paintings and a ceramic sculpture for the American art galleries.

Both paintings date to 1936. The first is "Burlesque" by Milton Avery. The second is "Irises (The Sentinels)" by Pasadena artist Helen Lundeberg. The sculpture is by the California artist Sargent Claude Johnson and is titled "Head of a Boy."

The council, composed of donors from across Southern California, spent nearly $1 million to fill what it deemed to be gaps in the museum's collections.

"We had a hugely successful Art Collectors' Council Gala, which this year was devoted to American art," Salatino said. "The quality of the works acquired underscores how seriously we and our donors take our commitment to building a first-rate collection of American art."

The new works will go on view this summer in the part of the Scott galleries that will remain open during the expansion, as it moves ahead under Frederick Fisher and Partners.

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