EXPLORE THE HMA COLLECTIONS
John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925), “Near June Street, Worcester, Massachusetts,”1890. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mr. Alex E. Booth, Jr.; 1965.18.
The American art collection at the Huntington Museum of Art covers a broad spectrum of materials and periods of time. From early Native American objects to the art of contemporary painters, sculptors and printmakers, the collection features notable works by artists such as Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Alexander Calder, Cy Twombly, Chuck Close, and Andy Warhol. The Museum’s extensive collection of decorative arts includes work by leading American craftsmen and designers, with an exceptionally strong representation of American glass and an equally notable collection of historic firearms.
When the Huntington Museum of Art opened in 1952, one of the core collections of the new institution was a group of Asian decorative objects of jade, silver and porcelain that had been gathered by founder Herbert Fitzpatrick. As the Museum has grown, this small collection has expanded to include representative examples of Asian prints, textiles, paintings, and sculpture.
The Huntington Museum of Art includes a significant collection of art from Haiti, the majority of which came as a gift from former Blenko Glass designer Winslow Anderson, who was a frequent visitor to the country and a lifelong friend to the Museum. Much of Anderson’s collection was formed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a rich period that saw the blossoming of the “Haitian Renaissance” in painting and sculpture. The works include examples by many of the Haitian masters, including Hector Hyppolite, Rigaud Benoit, Sénèque Obin, and Philomé Obin.
Paintings and decorative objects from Europe form a large part of the permanent collection of the Huntington Museum of Art. From richly decorated silver objects from Great Britain to elaborately produced art glass from France to fine paintings and drawings by artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Jean Francois Millet, Georges Braque, and Pablo Picasso, these works demonstrate the great artistic genius that has emanated from the lands of Europe.
In the 1950s, many of the native peoples of Canada’s upper Hudson Bay area began to utilize their exceptional talents as carvers to create works of art from the soft native stone in the region. The sale of these works provided an important source of revenue for the artists, replacing some of the income that was lost as the fur trade rapidly diminished. The Museum received much of its collection of Inuit art in a bequest from Herman Dean, one of the institution’s founders, who traveled to the area during this period and acquired work from these artists. The works illustrate many of the aspects of Inuit life during the period, including travel, hunting, family life, and the animals that lived in the region.
Near Eastern Art
Among the inaugural exhibits at the Huntington Museum of Art when it opened in 1952 was one that displayed the collection of Islamic prayer rugs that had been collected by Herbert Fitzpatrick. This initial venture into Near Eastern culture was greatly expanded upon in the 1990s when Drs. Joseph and Omayma Touma gave a large collection of works and later funded the construction of a special gallery to showcase the work of artists and craftsmen from the region. The collection includes pottery, glass, weaponry, furniture, metalwork, textiles, and other decorative objects, and is displayed in a gallery that features elaborately carved and inlaid woodwork that was custom-made for the space by craftsmen in Damascus, Syria.