The Flint Institute of Arts has assembled outstanding collections of American, European, Native American, African, and Asian art including paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative arts.
Highlights of the collection include: 15th to 18th century English, French, and Italian decorative arts, a rare shaped panel by Peter Paul Rubens, a complete set of 17th century French tapestries; a fine collection of 18th and 19th century paperweights and European glass; American and French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings; Hudson River School paintings; Regional and Great Lakes paintings; Modernist; and, Abstract Expressionist and Photorealist paintings.
The collection includes works by renowned artists such as Auguste Renoir, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Thomas Hart Benton, Andrew Wyeth, and Duane Hanson.
Photography at the FIA
The photography collection at the FIA began in 1964 with a work purchased during the 34th AC Annual (an art exhibition sponsored by AC Sparkplug) and since that date, the collection has grown through purchases and gifts. Recently, the FIA has received several important gifts. The first work by André Kertész, given by Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson, entered the collection this year. Kertész, a Hungarian-born photographer, is considered to be one of the most important photographers of the 20th century because of his innovative compositions. Chez Mondrian, Paris (1926) depicts the Paris studio of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. In a photograph taken shortly after Kertész arrived in Paris, he created the composition by opening the normally closed door of Mondrian's studio to show the elegant curves of the hall's staircase.
The Andy Warhol Foundation gave one of Pop artist Andy Warhol's Red Books, a series of unique Polaroid photographs enclosed in a red Holson Polaroid album. Photographing nearly every person he met, many of whom were celebrities, Warhol kept these Polaroids to later use in his screenprints. In the 1970s and '80s, he carefully selected the photos and organized them into the albums, of which more than 100 are known to exist. The FIA's Red Book dates from 1971 and features 17 photographs of such celebrities as Bianca Jagger and Shirley Stoler.
Two important works by Harold Edgerton were given this year by Arlette and Gus Kayafas. Edgerton invented his stroboscopic light mechanism while at MIT in the late 1920s and early 30s. He used this technology to record objects in motion, such as a bullet severing a playing card (Bullet Through King of Diamonds, 1964) and a girl skipping rope (Moving Skip Rope, 1952), in a photographic process.
The FIA also has received recent gifts of works from metro Detroit-area photographer Monte Nagler and California photographer Daniel Teoli, Jr. Though currently a small percentage (8%) of the total graphics collection (over 3,000), the photograph collection is steadily growing through the generosity of donors. Many of these recent gifts will be on view next fall in an exhibition of photography from the FIA permanent collection.
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American, b. Hungary, 1894–1985
Chez Mondrian, Paris, 1926, printed later
gelatin silver print
10 x 8 inches
Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson, 2014.9