October 26, 2023 The Carter Announces 2023 Acquisitions that Expand Museum’s Story of American Creativity
Spanning over 250 years, acquisitions of works by Benjamin West, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Emma Amos join the voices of living artists Martine Gutierrez, Sadie Barnette, and María Magdalena Campos-Pons, among others
Fort Worth , TX, October 26, 2023—The Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter) today announced recent acquisitions of works by an interdisciplinary and intergenerational group of artists, allowing the Museum to tell an ever broadening story of American art’s past, present, and future. Spanning over 250 years of American artistic production, the acquisitions include a significant early painting by Benjamin West, a landmark twentieth-century work by Henry Ossawa Tanner, and cutting-edge contemporary works from living artists including Martine Gutierrez and María Magdalena Campos-Pons. The work by West, Pyrrhus when a child, brought to Glaucias, King of Illyria, for protection (1767), marks the earliest oil painting to enter the Museum’s collection, expanding the Carter’s holdings into the eighteenth century. The work provides a foundation upon which visitors can get a richer picture of early American artistic practice and the international influences that shaped West’s development. Also marking a milestone for the collection is the acquisition of Sodom and Gomorrah (ca. 1920–24), a painterly interpretation of Genesis 12:12-26 by Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first Black artist from the U.S. to gain major international recognition.
Additionally, a selection of contemporary acquisitions introduces new voices to the Carter’s photography and painting, sculpture, and works on paper collections, with works by artists such as Ester Hernandez, Delilah Montoya, and David Alekhuogie joining the Museum’s collection for the first time.
“Our goal is for the Carter’s collections to reflect the complexity of the American experience—with all of its nuance, dimensionality, and diversity of voices,” said Andrew J. Walker, Executive Director. “The works we’ve acquired over the past year move us closer to that goal, bringing living artists into dialogue with our foundational collections to provide fuller context to the American experience and ensuring that visitors encounter and engage with the most comprehensive view of American art.”
Highlights of 2023 acquisitions include:
- Pyrrhus when a child, brought to Glaucias, King of Illyria, for protection, 1767, by Benjamin West. This work is the earliest oil painting to enter the Carter’s collection, expanding the Museum’s breadth of study to include works from the colonial era. The Museum also acquired a corresponding print based on West’s painting by Richard Earlom.
- Sodom and Gomorrah, 1920–24, by Henry Ossawa Tanner. This marks the Carter’s first work by the internationally acclaimed Black artist—a painting now on public view for the first time in ten years. The work also includes a secondary painting on its verso, or the back of the canvas—an unfinished painting of two women in a similar palette of blue and green.
- Arabian Landscape, 1901, by Thomas Moran. This work joins the Carter’s expansive collection of Moran’s romantic landscapes. Rather than depicting a specific location, this painting fits into a tradition that Moran had of creating fantasy landscapes, either from his imagination or based on literary sources.
- Gold Face Type, 1966, by Emma Amos. This self-portrait from Amos, a leading figure in the Black Arts Movement and member of the Guerrilla Girls, plays with color and composition to, in the artist’s words, “dislodge, question, and tweak prejudices, rules, and notions relating to art.”
- La Ofrenda, 1988 and La Virgen de Guadalupe Defendiendo Los Derechos de los Chicanos, 2018, by Ester Hernandez. Often recognized as two of the most significant prints from Chicana artist Hernandez, these prints subvert traditional religious iconography to create an embodied queer, feminist space for viewers.
- Queer Rage, P.S. Your Parents Are Nuts, p73 from Indigenous Woman, 2018 and Neo-Indeo, Cakchi Lana Caliente, p29 from Indigenous Woman, 2018, by Martine Gutierrez. Excerpted from Indigenous Woman, Gutierrez’s 124-page high-fashion magazine, these two works reflect the Latinx and transgender artist’s exploration of pervasive dichotomies—male/female, sacred/profane, and Indigenous/colonizer—and are the first of her works to be acquired by the Carter.
- In Between the News from Un Pedazo de Mar, 2019, María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Another important Latinx voice, Afro-Cuban artist Campos-Pons uses the ocean in this series as a backdrop upon which to explore the sorrow felt by people of the Caribbean diaspora.
- WE 107/2, 2020, by David Alekhuogie. This work from the rising Nigerian American talent pairs traditional photography with African sculpture and textiles to explore cultural heritage, the hierarchy of art versus craft, and the idea of authorship, expanding the Carter’s collection to include non-traditional mediums and practices.
- Leave To Me Your Memories, 2022, by Meryl McMaster (Canadian with nêhiyaw, British and Dutch ancestry). Inspired by the discovery of her great-grandmother’s diary, McMaster’s series Bloodline, which includes this work, presents surreal portraiture suggestive of a convergence point between past and present, exploring memory, migration, and identity. Following the Carter’s 2022 exhibition Speaking with Light, this acquisition reflects the Museum’s continued commitment to uplifting contemporary Indigenous photography.
- FBI Drawings: Source Six and FBI Drawings: Instructions on Assembly, 2022, by Sadie Barnette. These drawings are based on the extensive surveillance of Barnette’s father, a member of the Black Panther Party, by the FBI as documented in his official file. These two drawings were a selection from six works made for the Carter’s 2023 exhibition Emancipation: The Unfinished Project of Liberation, a group show marking the 160th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and interrogating notions of freedom, agency, liberation, incarceration, and the legacy of the Civil War.
About the Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter) is a dynamic cultural resource that provides unique access and insight into the history and future of American creativity through its expansive exhibitions and programming. The Carter’s preeminent collection includes masterworks by legendary American artists such as Ruth Asawa, Alexander Calder, Frederic Church, Stuart Davis, Robert Duncanson, Thomas Eakins, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, and John Singer Sargent, as well as one of the country’s foremost repositories of American photography. In addition to its innovative exhibition program and engagement with artists working today, the Museum’s premier primary research collection and leading conservation program make it a must-see destination for art lovers and scholars of all ages nationwide. Admission is always free. To learn more about the Carter, visit cartermuseum.org.
Images (left to right): Benjamin West (1738–1820), Pyrrhus when a child, brought to Glaucias, King of Illyria, for protection, 1767, oil on canvas, courtesy of Ben Elwes Fine Art, London; Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859–1937), Sodom and Gomorrah, ca. 1920-24, oil on canvas, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY, 2023.11; Martine Gutierrez (b. 1989), Queer Rage, P.S. Your Parents Are Nuts, p73 from Indigenous Woman, 2018, dye coupler print , Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, P2023.18, © Martine Gutierrez; Sadie Barnette (b. 1984), FBI Drawings: Source Six, 2022, powdered graphite on paper, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 2023.9, © Sadie Barnette; María Magdalena Campos-Pons (b. 1959), In Between the News, 2019, transparent and opaque watercolor and ink on paper, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with funds provided by the Paper Forum, 2023.10, © María Magdalena Campos-Pons; Emma Amos (1937–2020), Gold Face Type, 1966, print on paper, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 2023.12, © Emma Amos, Courtesy of RYAN LEE Gallery, New York