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Reflecting on Collecting: Recent Acquisitions of Modern Art

Harry Cooper, senior curator and head of modern art, National Gallery of Art. It is often said that the National Gallery of Art is a collection of collections.  All its acquisitions of art are the resultof gifts, whether of art itself or of the funds to acquire art.  In the realm of modern art, one of the principal mechanisms of this generosity has been the Collectors Committee, a group of patrons who came together in 1975 to commission and donate major works to help inaugurate the East Building, which opened in 1978.  In this lecture held on July 8, 2018, Harry Cooper surveys the gifts made by the Committee since 2008, when he joined the Gallery’s staff.  This revealing inside look at the acquisition process demonstrates how dramatically the collection of contemporary works has grown over the past decade.