Museum of Art

Brigham Young University

Provo, UT



Brigham Young University - Museum of Art Acquires Important Paintings


Brigham Young University - Museum of Art has received two stellar new additions to its American collection as a generous gift from Museum donors, Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley. The two paintings, a 1901 portrait byJohn Singer Sargent and an academic piece painted for the 1892 Paris Salon by Daniel Ridgway Knight, are on view to the public in the Museum, having been installed October 9, 2000.

Large in size, both works were acquired from New York Galleries and are the work of expatriate Americans living and working abroad in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is an important time period in the museum's collecting efforts, since major artists in the museum's holdings - Mahonri Mackintosh Young, Maynard Dixon, Minerva B. Kohlhepp Teichert and J. Alden Weir - were products of this era.

John Singer Sargent [American: 1856-1925], Portrait of Mrs.Edward L. Goetz, 1901 (see left) depicts the mature and dignified Mrs.Goetz in a simple tonal range of limited colors. The virtuoso brushstrokes for which Sargent is known magically render the transparent shawl of the seated figure, the fabric of her skirt, and the jewels of her buckle and ring. Sargent, somewhat of a celebrity himself, attracted many aristocrats for portraiture. Mrs. Goetz, an amateur pianist and composer held a musical salon at her Hyde Park Terrace home in London. She died one month after the portrait's completion. A music library of operatic scores was given in her memory to the Royal Academy of Music by her children. This remarkable portrait descended in the family of the sitter until it went to Adelson Galeries, where it was purchased for the museum.

Daniel Ridgway Knight [American: 1839-1924], a Philadelphia artist, received academic training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Le premier chagrin (The First Grief) (see right) appeared in the Salon of 1892, "hors concours", meaning that Ridgway Knight's previous honors made him ineligible for further awards. Singled out for recognition in another way, the painting of two young peasant girls sitting on a wall with the French countryside and the Seine River in the background, was reproduced in the Salon catalogue. The delicate skin of the well modeled and idealized figures is almost palpable, and the blush of the young women's cheeks is beautifully rendered. In contrast, the landscape background is painted with a looser, more impressionistic brush. One of Ridgway Knight's masterpieces, The First Grief has been owned by a single American family for the past fifty years. Its rediscovery represents a major contribution to the known work of the artist. It came to the museum from Hollis Taggart Galleries.

Access to these fine works of art is of enormous benefit to the wider community who can view the paintings at their leisure over and over again. Campbell Gray, Museum of Art Director, comments, "Although the acquisitions form part of the Museum's most valuable collection, the real value is one of education, inspiration and stimulation that they will provide to the community. We are extremely proud that these pieces can offer such learning and enjoyment."

Read more about the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/6/11

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2011 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.