News | August 10, 2015

New-York Historical Society Receives Ruscha's "Fanned Book" and Hudson River School Paintings


NEW YORK, NY (August 2015)—The New-York Historical Society is pleased to announce two major donations to its Museum collection. Fifteen Hudson River School paintings—collected over the course of two decades by the late Arthur and Eileen Newman and including such artists as Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, and Martin Johnson Heade—will join New-York Historical’s extraordinary collection of 19th-century American paintings. The Museum has also been gifted a stellar contemporary work by longtime New-York Historical Society Trustee Sid Lapidus and his wife Ruth: Fanned Book by Ed Ruscha (2013).

Dr. Linda S. Ferber, the New-York Historical Society’s Senior Art Historian and Museum Director Emerita remarked, “My first visit to see these wonderful Hudson River School paintings at the Newmans’ apartment brought the thrilling realization that the ‘fit’ of their collection and New-York Historical Society’s holdings was truly uncanny. The core of N-YHS’ Hudson River School collection came from the landmark holdings of two great 19th-century New York collectors: Luman Reed and Robert L. Stuart. The 21st-century gift of the Newman Family Collection, formed in recent decades with such dedication and thoughtfulness, brings our historic collections to a new breadth and strength, offering fresh opportunities to foster scholarship and to mount exhibitions that will share the enduring legacy of the Hudson River School’s vision of America with visitors.”

“Our parents were long drawn to the natural beauty of Hudson River School landscapes captured by the great American painters of the 19th century,” remarked David Newman on behalf of his family. “They could only have experienced art like this at a museum while they were growing up themselves, so we are delighted that they wished to share these paintings with a public institution for future generations’ enjoyment.” 

New-York Historical Society visitors will be able to preview selected paintings from the Arthur and Eileen Newman Collection beginning August 28, 2015. Acquisition highlights include:

Thomas Cole, On Catskill Creek, Sunset, ca. 1845-47.  New-York Historical Society. Collection of Arthur and Eileen Newman, Bequest of Eileen Newman (2015)

Frederic Edwin Church, Home by the Lake, 1852. 

New-York Historical Society. Collection of Arthur and Eileen Newman, Bequest of Eileen Newman (2015)

Martin Johnson Heade, Storm Cloud Over the Marshes, ca. 1871-75. New-York Historical Society. Collection of Arthur and Eileen Newman, Bequest of Eileen Newman (2015)

Jasper F. Cropsey, Wickham Lake, 1876. New-York Historical Society. Collection of Arthur and Eileen Newman, Bequest of Eileen Newman (2015).  

Additional paintings collected by Arthur and Eileen Newman to be donated to the New-York Historical Society are: 

  • Albert Bierstadt, View from the Tree Platform, ca 1865-76
  • Albert Bierstadt, View of Mount Washington from North Conway, NH, ca. 1860-65
  • Frederic Edwin Church, Early Autumn, ca. 1865-66 
  • Jasper F. Cropsey, Twilight, 1858 
  • Jasper F. Cropsey, Fisherman’s House, Greenwood Lake, 1877
  • Martin Johnson Heade, Apple Blossoms in a Corner, 1868 
  • Martin Johnson Heade, Red and White Rosebuds on a Branch, ca. 1875-83 
  • David Johnson, On the Unadilla at New Berlin, Chenango County, New York, 1856
  • Louis Rémy Mignot, Ave Maria, Ecuador, 1862
  • Louis Rémy Mignot, Ava Maria, Scene on the Guayaquil River, Ecuador, ca. 1862-1870
  • Thomas Worthington Whittredge, A Forest Stream, ca. 1871

“We are enormously grateful to Trustee Sid Lapidus and Ruth Lapidus for their generous donation of Ed Ruscha’s Fanned Book (2013). This spectacular gift brings New-York Historical’s art collecting into the 21st century and fortifies our repertoire of works by landmark, late 20th century artists," noted Dr. Louise Mirrer, New-York Historical’s President and CEO. “Fanned Book will be given pride of place in our beautiful Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, emblematic of both the millions of books and other written materials in our great Library collection and of the vitality of our Museum. The painting will join other contemporary works featured in New-York Historical's most public spaces, such as Keith Haring’s Pop Shop ceiling mural (1986) in our entryway and Richard Haas’ breathtaking Cityscapes cycle (1982) in our rotunda. What’s more, Ed Ruscha is for our institution a very special artist whose Course of Empire cycle, featured at the 2005 Venice Biennale, took its title and inspiration from our treasured 19th-century Course of Empire by Thomas Cole. It could not be more fitting to welcome our first Ruscha together with the newly-gifted paintings by Cole and other Hudson River School artists.”

Ruscha’s Fanned Book will go on display in New-York Historical’s Klingenstein Library beginning August 28, 2015.

The New-York Historical Society Museum holds one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States through the lens of New York. Among them are a world class collection of American paintings, including major works by Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and Frederic Edwin Church, as well as iconic genre and history paintings, including works by William Sidney Mount and Eastman Johnson. N-YHS is also home to a vast range of American portraits, including paintings by Rembrandt Peale and Gilbert Stuart, in addition to all 435 of John James Audubon’s extant preparatory watercolors for The Birds of America.

Image: Ed Ruscha, Fanned Book, 2013. Acrylic on canvas. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Sid and Ruth Lapidus (2015).