The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse said that the sale of a valuable painting from its collection will allow it to diversify and care for its holdings.
The museum on Friday said that “Red Composition, 1946” by Jackson Pollock was sold by Christie’s auction house on Oct. 6 for $12 million.
The museum said that the American Alliance of Museums and Regents of the State of New York limit the proceeds of the sale to two purposes: to refine and diversify its collection and provide direct care for it. The Everson said it plans to purchase new works by artists of color, women artists, and other under-represented, emerging and mid-career artists.
The museum said that the Pollock painting first belonged to dealer and gallery owner Peggy Guggenheim who was one of Pollock’s earliest and most ardent patrons. Guggenheim then gifted the painting to James (Jimmy) Ernst, son of the Surrealist painter Max Ernst in 1947. In the 1950s, the museum said, the painting was acquired by Syracuse native Marshall Reisman and his wife, Dorothy. It remained in their personal collection for over 40 years before it was donated it to the museum in 1991.
In addition to allowing it to make new acquisitions, the museum said that proceeds from the sale will be invested in conservation measures including the restoration of “Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 3” by Henry Moore, which has been on display since the museum’s opening in 1968. The Everson said it will also improve its on-site storage, enabling more of the collection to be housed at the Museum and available for scholarly study and public viewing.