Campus News

Museum of Art Receives Large Gift of Master Prints

Story posted June 10, 2010

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art has announced an extraordinary gift to its permanent collection from long-time friend and generous donor Charles Pendexter of Brunswick.

Totaling more than 1,500 prints and eight drawings, the Pendexter collection expands the breadth of Bowdoin's already rich print holdings, increasing them by 20 percent.

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Hendrick Goltzius, Dutch, 1558–1617, The Visitation (The Early Life of the Virgin, pl. 2), 1593, engraving, Gift of Charles Pendexter.

The significant gift includes masterpieces by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Édouard Manet and Giorgio Morandi, among many others, and multiple works by Hendrick Goltzius and Honoré Daumier.

Highlights include rare first editions of Francisco de Goya's Disasters of War and Proverbios series, both from the early 19th century.

Pendexter says his gift was prompted by the Museum's commitment to the collection and study of prints, an area of focus cultivated by previous directors Katharine Watson and Katy Kline, and continued by current director Kevin Salatino, who was previously the curator of prints and drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

"Charles's prints join rich holdings of works on paper at Bowdoin, now made exponentially richer by the generosity of one remarkable man," says Salatino.

"This truly outstanding gift is an exemplary act of selflessness that recognizes that a great collection is greatest when kept intact, and when shared with the largest possible audience."

De Goya300.jpg
Francisco de Goya, Spanish, 1746-1828, Dios la Perdone: y era su Madre (For Heaven’s Sake: and it was her Mother), Caprichos pl. 16, 1799, etching and aquatint, Gift of Charles Pendexter.

Pendexter says he sees Bowdoin as a fitting home for his sweeping collection, knowing the valuable resource it will be for teaching and research.

"Charles's gift is remarkably wide-ranging, adding immeasurably to the reach of the Museum's holdings," says David Becker, print curator, fellow collector and Museum donor, noting that Pendexter has a "deep love and knowledge of prints that is revealed in the depth of his vision, especially in such favorite themes as the pastoral landscape tradition, or the muscular forms and movement of European baroque printmaking."

Pendexter, a Maine native, is a retired research geologist for the Exxon Corporation.

He traveled widely during his career, collecting master prints in cities around the world over the course of 50 years.

Highlights from this gift will be showcased in the summer exhibition, Scratching the Surface: Master Prints from the Charles Pendexter Collection, on view in the Becker Gallery June 16-August 29, 2010.

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