You've read it on the Arkansas Blog: The Walton Family Foundation has given Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art $800 million. At yesterday's press conference, Don Bacigalupi said the contribution was made "recently"; I'm trying to find out if the endowments were in addition to or inclusive of previous gifts. UPDATE: The funds are new, I'm told by CBMAA pr folk.
But who cares about the money? I've spent a lot of time that I shouldn't have today trying to figure out two paintings that curator Kevin Murphy talked about, but couldn't identify, on the tour of the galleries of colonial to 19th century art. One, an early landscape by an artist influenced by Poussin and Loraine, the other a late 19th century landscape by an artist who studied with Monet.
A journalist yesterday asked Murphy if the name of the painter of the early landscape rhymed with Horan, prompting him to refer in a whisper to the work as a "Moran" but leading us to believe it was not a Moran. So I wrote in my notebook, Bierstadt? And found that a Bierstadt, "Indians Spear Fishing," sold at auction at Christies a couple of years ago for $7.3 million. But I don't feel very confident about that, because that's on old sale and the landscape Murphy was referring to was a new acquisition. Maybe a George Inness.
That painter who studied with Monet? I'm thinking John Singer Sargent?
Candy fans, help me out here.