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Photos: Art Institute Receives Its Largest Gift Of Art In Museum's History

By Danette Chavez in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 22, 2015 7:00PM

You’ll soon find yourself spending even more time at The Art Institute of Chicago: the museum has just received its largest gift of art ever from two local philanthropists. The donated collection, which is valued at $400 million, will be made available to the public early next year. Above are some of the works from the collection.

The donors, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, have built an impressive modern art collection of about 200 works, one that experts are calling “one of the most significant collections of its kind in the world.” As such, they’d been courted by other cultural institutions but were reluctant to have their works packed away in a warehouse once something new arrived. They decided to share it with the city since the AIC made them “an offer [they] couldn’t refuse,” which was to show their art for 50 years in the forthcoming Edlis/Neeson collection.

The Edlis/Neeson collection includes works by contemporary and Pop Art notables like Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. The nine Warhol silk-screens are considered the heart of the collection, which will also feature paintings by Gerhard Richter, photographs by Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince and sculpture by Jeff Koons and Cy Twombly. All 42 works will be displayed in the Modern Wing beginning January 2016.

The AIC formally accepted the donation last night, with curator of contemporary art James Rondeau noting that it will round out the museum’s classic pop art collections as well as those of the city, which he says have been “historically poor.” The Museum of Contemporary Art’s Madeleine Grynsztejn shared in the excitement over the new art, calling it a major local triumph.