Cynthia Huff | American | People Love to Float | Oil on canvas | Circa 1980s | Gift of Harry and Sarah R. Coffman | 2002.2
The South Bend Museum of Art celebrates the work of historical Indiana artists, and contemporary national and regional artists. For 75 years the collection has grown and changed along with the city it serves, sustained by gifts and donations, the Zisla Acquisition Fund, and purchase awards provided by The Art League. Consisting of over 1,100 works of art, it has been cultivated to educate and reflect our diverse, vibrant community.
Alex McKibbin | American, born 1940 | Configual #81 | Oil on canvas | 1981 | Museum purchase 12th Biennial | Michiana Regional Art Exhibition | 1982.1
Historical Indiana: Brown County and the Hoosier Group
The collection started with a gift from Mr. and Mrs. E.M Morris. This initial gift included works by American Impressionist painters William Forsyth, Clifton Wheeler, Daniel Garber, Theodore Clement Steele, and George Jo Mess.
Two groups of note emerged among Impressionist painters in Indiana, The Brown County Art Colony and the Hoosier Group. Included in the collection are works by many of these artists such as Claude Curry Bohm, Alexis Fournier, Carl Graf, and Otto Stark. A long term loan from the Snite Museum of Art features additional works by Emil Jacques, Homer Davisson, Frank Dudley, Luigi Gregori, and Ivan Mestrovic.
Regional and National
A large portion of the collection focuses on Indiana-born artists of note such as William Merritt Chase, Daniel Garber, Sam Gilliam, and Robert Indiana. Also included in this group are well known artists from the South Bend and surrounding area such as Harold Zisla, Douglas Kinsey, Lea Goldman, Jake Webster, and Maria Tomasula.
The remainder of the collection features art by nationally recognized American artists including Lynda Benglis, Thomas Hart Benton, Mark di Suvero, Audrey Flack, Robert Henri, Jacob Lawrence, Louise Nevelson, Larry Rivers, and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith.
A small but important group of paintings of national scope is our collection of works from the Chicago Imagists, also known as the Hairy Who. These works are a strong example of contemporary style, and are popular with our patrons. These artists include Roger Brown, Ed Paschke, Gladys Nilsson, Christina Ramberg, and Ray Yoshida.
Image: Ed Paschke, American 1939-2004; Heddy; Oil on canvas; 1973 ; Museum purchase through NEA Grant; 1976.2.1
Acquisition of several series of prints has allowed us to collect important works that address socio-political work pertaining to issues of racism, feminism, and tolerance. Examples of these suites of prints include the Kent Bicentennial Portfolio: “Spirit of Independence” which includes works by Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, Jacob Lawrence, and Marisol Escobar. Another suite from this period is the Boston Massacre Portfolio featuring Larry Rivers. These prints celebrate our country’s history while addressing issues of tolerance, diversity and political dissent.
The 10×10: Ten Women/Ten Prints includes works by Hung Liu, Yolanda Lopez, Carrie Mae Weems, and Faith Ringold. These prints address feminist issues and highlight works by prominent minority artists of Chinese, Latino, and African-American backgrounds.
As our collection grows so does the opportunity to diversify. SBMA is committed to actively collecting artists and artworks that reflect American culture and embrace all identities.