Historic exhibition of 98 20th-century art works to be displayed at Cornell's Herbert F. Johnson Museum beginning Oct. 12

ITHACA, N.Y. -- One of the most important exhibits in the history of Cornell University's Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art will be on display from Oct. 12 through Jan. 12, 2003. "The David M. Solinger Collection: Masterworks of Twentieth-Century Art" includes the promised gift of nine masterpieces of modern art to the museum's permanent collection from Betty Ann Besch Solinger, Lynn Stern and the family of the late David M. Solinger, Cornell Class of 1926.

The exhibition includes 98 works of art, including a monumental nude by Pablo Picasso, nine watercolors by Paul Klee, major sculptures by Alberto Giacometti and Alexander Calder and "much, much more," said Frank Robinson, the Richard J. Schwartz Director of the museum.

"This astounding exhibit brings together some of the best works of the best artists of the 20th century, both European and American," said Robinson.

David Solinger was the founding chair of the Johnson Museum's Advisory Council, a prominent attorney and former president and chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many other achievements. He was also an accomplished artist and brilliant collector. Betty Ann Besch Solinger has had a long career in television, theater and film production. Lynn Stern, David Solinger's daughter, is an internationally exhibited photographer. There will be a concurrent exhibition of Stern's photographs in Gallery Two of the museum.

As for the promised gift, Robinson said: "We are deeply grateful to Mrs. Solinger and to Lynn Stern, as well as to Nicholas Stern, Peter, Barrie and Emily Sommerfield [Solinger family members] for their great generosity. This is one of the most important gifts in the history of the museum, one that transforms our ability to show the very best of modern art."

The gift includes sculptures by Jean Arp and Joseph Cornell, one of Alexander Calder's famous mobiles, paintings by Jean Dubuffet and Hans Hofmann, a large collage by Robert Motherwell, two watercolors by Paul Klee and a watercolor by Wassily Kandinsky.On Oct. 11, Robert Rosenblum, professor of fine arts at New York University and one of the leading historians of 19th and 20th century art, will give a talk "Art at Mid-Century: The Solinger Collection," at 5 p.m. in the Johnson Museum. Rosenblum will discuss the art world around 1950, when David Solinger began collecting. A reception and preview of the exhibition will follow the event. The talk is free and open to the public.

For more information about the exhibition, contact Catherine Davidson, museum publications and publicity coordinator, (607) 254-4563 or e-mail cmd15@cornell.edu .

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