From the Archives

Acquisition Priorities: Aspects of Postwar Painting in America

Acquisition Priorities: Aspects of Postwar Painting in America

Contributions by Thomas M. Messer
Published in 1976
120 pages, fully illustrated
Softcover, 10.50 x 11 inches

Offering a unique glimpse into the acquisition priorities of a large-scale institution, this catalogue juxtaposes works from the Guggenheim's own collection with a selection of highly ranked artworks on the list of potential acquisitions. Functioning as much more than just a review of postwar American painting, this catalogue acts as a self-analytical, institutional critique bringing the strengths and weaknesses of the Guggenheim's holdings into stark relief. The catalogue features large images in both color and black and white, followed by artists' biographies, which are illustrated by choice photographs.


This exhibition is primarily a balance sheet—a frank admission of what, within a particular context we value most and, conversely, what we at present most sorely lack.

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