Daniel Birnbaum, director of the Moderna Museet, emphasises the significance of this bequest:
“These works would be sensational for any international museum. Art like this is practically impossible to buy nowadays, and it is an great privilege to experience such generosity. The donation is fantastic news to all art lovers in Sweden. Now these works of art belong to us all.”
The publisher Gerard Bonnier (1917-1987) chaired the Friends of the Moderna Museet in 1961-77 and was a prominent Swedish art collector. In 1989, he bequeathed 23 masterpieces to the Moderna Museet, thereby giving the museum an invaluable enhancement; today, these works are the backbone of the collection of early modernism. Now, one of the most generous private initiatives for a Swedish arts institution has been taken to even further heights. In her will, the wife of Gerard Bonnier, Elisabeth “Peggy” Bonnier (1922-2013), has bequeathed eight modernist classics to the Moderna Museet. Co-director Ann-Sofi Noring highlights the possibilities that this gift entails:
“These works will enrich the presentation of early European modernism at the Moderna Museet. We are planning an exhibition of Pablo Picasso in Malmö already this summer, and a dialogue between Paul Klee and Ivan Aguéli for next year in Stockholm. A more generous and welcome gift than this is hard to imagine.”
The works of art can be viewed from this weekend in the Pontus Hultén Study Gallery at Moderna Museet in Stockholm.
The donated works
Jean Fautrier, Otage, 1945
Jean Fautrier, around 1945, sculpture
Juan Gris, La Chope, 1913, oil on canvas
Paul Klee, Will weg, muss weinen, around 1920, gouache on newspaper, unsigned
Paul Klee, Der Wald, around 1920
Henri Laurens, Torso de femme, 1925, marble
Pablo Picasso, Deux personnages, Oct 1939, gouache and charcoal
Pablo Picasso, Baigneuses au ballon, 1928, oil on canvas
About the Moderna Museet collection
Moderna Museet has one of the world’s finest collections of art from the early 1900s to the present day. It includes key works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalì, Henri Matisse, Meret Oppenheim and Robert Rauschenberg, and is constantly brought up to date with new acquisitions of contemporary artists, including Ai Weiwei, Wade Guyton, Tauba Auerbach and Klara Lidén. The collection also covers photography and photo-based art from the 1840s to today. The Moderna Museet collection comprises some 5,000 paintings, sculptures and installations, some 25,000 watercolours, drawings and prints, and some 100,000 photographs.