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Ludington Bequest to Santa Barbara Museum

TIMES ART WRITER

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has received a donation of 175 works of art from the estate of Wright S. Ludington. The bequest includes oil paintings by major Impressionist and modern artists, modern bronze sculptures, a group of Luristan bronzes and rare Roman sculptures and architectural fragments.

A prominent art collector and founding member of the museum, Ludington lived in Santa Barbara from 1927 until his death in May at age 91. He collected broadly--from antiquities to modern art--and gave 300 artworks to the museum during his lifetime. The recent donation of 175 additional pieces builds on strengths established by the earlier gifts, museum press officer Virginia Cochran said.

Among paintings in the bequest is “Pont Saint-Michel,” a 1900-1901 work by Henri Matisse, which is currently on view in the Matisse retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “Red Beach,” another Ludington-owned Matisse in the exhibition, will be offered for sale on Nov. 12 at Sotheby’s New York, bearing an estimated price of $1.25 million to $1.75 million. The Santa Barbara Museum did not expect to receive “Red Beach” as part of the Ludington bequest, Cochran said.

Other French paintings in the recent gift are “Woman With Basket of Fruit,” a 1924 work by Georges Braque; “Jardin au Petit Pont,” a 1937 landscape by Pierre Bonnard, and “The Dungeon,” made by Henri Rousseau in 1889. Paintings by Georges Rouault, Maurice Utrillo, Odilon Redon and Andre Derain were also donated. The modern bronzes include sculptures by Aristide Maillol, Jacques Lipchitz and Gaston Lachaise.

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The French paintings will go on view in the spring as part of a new installation, in galleries that are being modified to accommodate a larger selection of the museum’s European collections. Plans to exhibit other portions of the bequest are also in the works, Cochran said.


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