Collecting art is like collecting stories. Each work has multiple stories behind it: the story of the artist, the story of the piece’s creation, the story of its acquisition, andthe story of its home in the gallery. “Out of the Vault” brings these stories to the forefront. On view are works acquired around the world, from Milwaukee to New York to Paris and beyond, and across the gallery’s 52-year history, from “Grand Avenue Galleries” on Wisconsin Avenue in 1966 to The David Barnett Gallery in the Button Mansion on State St..
Included in this show are masterpieces that were acquired directly from the artists themselves. David purchased the work of Della Wells from the artist herself, Lester Johnson’s “Summer Group Walking #6” was purchased directly from the artist’s Connecticut studio, and artists like Carol Summers, based in Santa Cruz, California, and Claude Weisbuch, from Paris, are the same.
“New Acquisitions” showcases the art that has most recently found its home at the David Barnett Gallery, but these pieces have no less history. Many of these pieces have made their way back to the Gallery after years in other collections. Featured are some of the most important modern masters: Alexander Calder, Mary Cassatt, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, as well as other treasures by Max Gaisser and Daniel Ridgway Knight, and more. Much of the work in this exhibition was acquired during one of David’s art-buying trips to Paris.
The story of these works of art does not stop at the David Barnett Gallery. In fact, they are just beginning. What stories do you see in each artwork? David’s new mantra, “We never own any of these artworks, we just pay for the privilege of living with these treasures for a given amount of time until somebody else becomes thecustodian,” is perfect in this situation. Anybody could continue the story and enjoy the history of each piece!