Gifts of Art: 2019 Acquisitions
In 2019, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art began celebration of twenty-five years of extraordinary collecting, exhibitions, and programs. As the only collecting contemporary art museum in the state of Missouri, Kemper Museum is grateful to those who have helped grow and enhance the Permanent Collection through generous gifts of art. The exhibition, Gifts of Art: 2019 Acquisitions, debuts a selection of gifts received in the past year, celebrating the artists who created them and recognizing their generous donors.
The Museum’s silver anniversary welcomed works into Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection that deepened holdings by individual artists, such as Till Freiwald (born 1963). Several gifts are by local artists––those living, working, and/or educated in the greater Kansas City area––such as Dan Christensen (1942–2007), a leading American abstract artist who earned a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI); longtime Kansas City-based artist Tom Gregg (born 1959), who specializes in still life painting; and Miguel Rivera (born 1967), associate professor and chair of printmaking at KCAI. These important gifts have also increased Kemper Museum’s holdings of works on paper, such as In Praise of Prairie Dogs (2019) by world-renowned feminist artist Judy Chicago (born 1939).
Since its inception, Kemper Museum has maintained its commitment to collecting and exhibiting work by underrepresented artists. The Museum continues to fill gaps and broaden its Permanent Collection to include more works by women artists and artists of color, such as the 2019 acquisition Soft and Fragile (2018) by Naudline Pierre (born 1989), a rising star in contemporary painting. For a quarter-century, generous donors have helped keep Kemper Museum on the leading edge of contemporary art in the region and beyond.
Gifts of Art: 2019 Acquisitions is co-curated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs, and Jade Powers, assistant curator at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.