Date of this Version
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, 1967
It is altogether pertinent that we exhibit works from the p'rivate collection of Philip Johnson at the Sheldon Gallery, for it was his demonstrated awareness of the arts of painting and sculpture that influenced, at least in part, his selection as the architect for the building. Such an awareness is rare in the profession, particularly an awareness of these arts in their most independent, even their most anti-architectural moods. To be sure Mr. Johnson's collection has, by now, its contingent of contemporary classics in works by Baziotes, Kline, Rothko, and Hartigan, but it should be remembered that they were acquired well before their status as classics was established. In this sense the more recent acquisitions are perhaps of greater interest, on this occasion at least, in that they are evidence of the continuing freshness of vision which characterizes the collector, and, in his own right, the artist. These objects in this building are surely an extraordinary demonstration of a strictly contemporary sensibility.
On behalf of the Art Association and the University, I would like to express our appreciation of Mr. Johnson's willingness to lend us the larger part of his collection for this occasion.