Celebrating a Milestone: 75 Years of the National Gallery of Art and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, I: A Platinum Jubilee: The Gallery and The Kress @ 75
Max Marmor, president, Samuel H. Kress Foundation. When the National Gallery of Art opened its doors in March 1941, the original Andrew W. Mellon gift was augmented by a collection of Italian art donated by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Kress was the first to offer a donation in response to Andrew Mellon's call for contributions for the new national art museum. For the Gallery's opening, Kress gave almost 400 paintings and sculptures. Ultimately, the foundation gave the Gallery a total of over 700 paintings and sculptures, in addition to over 1,300 small bronzes, medals, and plaquettes. In 2010, the foundation awarded the Gallery a grant to conduct provenance research on the entire Kress collection of paintings, distributed nationwide to regional museums and study collections in university-affiliated institutions. Discoveries included both new information about the histories of specific paintings and ways to look at the collection as a whole. Max Marmor, president of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation since 2007, opens this program held on May 23, 2016 to celebrate the 75-year relationship of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the National Gallery of Art, the enduring legacy of the Kress gifts nationwide, and recent research into the Kress Collection. Marmor also offers brief remarks on the foundation’s history. This program is supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation Provenance Research Project.