Tucson Museum of Art Announces Two Recent Gifts of Important Collections of Western Art

June 15 / 2015

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Contact: Laura Cortelyou
Director of PR and Marketing

Tucson Museum of Art Announces
Two Recent Gifts of Important Collections of Western Art

TUCSON, ARIZONA (June 2, 2015) – The Tucson Museum of Art is excited to announce two significant collection donations of artworks that will enhance the Art of the American West collection.

Howard and Marilyn Steele have donated 26 works of art by Henry C. Balink, Santa Fe artist (1882-1963), including paintings and etchings by the artist ranging from 1917-1950s. Mr. and Mrs. Steele are supporters of the arts in Tucson and long-time members of the Museum’s Western Art Patrons support organization.

Mr. Steele said, “Marilyn and I are pleased to be able to share the fruits of our collecting by gifting our Henry C. Balink art collection to the Tucson Museum of Art. It is important to us that the collection remains as a whole so others may enjoy it. We hope to see TMA’s Western art collection continue to expand and hope that this gift might serve as a catalyst to others who consider gifting their Western art to the museum.”

Tucson Museum of Art CEO, Dr. Robert Knight, said, “The Steele’s paintings by Henry Balink represent the largest known private collection of the artist’s works. We are very grateful to Howard and Marilyn for their extremely generous gift. It really enhances the Museum’s collection of historic Southwest painters, and will undoubtedly bestow bragging rights of TMA now being one of the largest public collections Henry Balink paintings – how exciting!”

Selections from the Steele gift will be on display this year. The Museum plans to mount an exhibition of this Balink collection within the next few years.

Henry C. Balink (1881-1963), mostly known as a Taos and Santa Fe artist, followed in the footsteps of the Taos Society of Artists established during the first part of the twentieth century. Mr. Balink was trained as fine artist in Holland and produced very high quality, formal portraits of Native Americans in the Southwest. Balink migrated to the US at the turn of the First World War. He eventually moved to Santa Fe permanently in the 1920s and concentrated mostly on Native American portraits and culture in his paintings.

The Museum is also very pleased to announce a gift from James and Louise Glasser of five works of art by award-winning contemporary Western artists. The works include a pastel by Harley Brown, a painting by George Molnar, a painting by Howard Post, a drawing by Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt, and a photograph by Jay Dusard.

Mr. and Mrs. Glasser are generous patrons and supporters of the Museum and members of the Contemporary Art Society and the Western Art Patrons support organizations. Mr. Glasser is an emeritus Board of Trustees member, and currently is the Museum’s Collections Committee Chair. Mr. and Mrs. Glasser reside in both Tucson and Lake Forest, Illinois, where they are active in arts organizations.

“We had significant occasions this past spring and wanted to celebrate them through these gifts to the Tucson Museum of Art,” said Mr. Glasser, “It felt appropriate to not only support the Museum in this way, but recognize some of our favorite artists.”
Four of the five works donated by the Glassers area currently on exhibition at the Museum.

Harley Brown (b. 1939) is a master of pastel drawing. Through his long career, Mr. Brown has been involved in the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Cowboy Artists of America. His work is included in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Autry National Center, and other national museums. He is known locally as being one of the “Tucson 7” artists.

George Molnar (b. 1953) paints photorealist portraits of people at work and at leisure in high desert surroundings. Mr. Molnar focuses on the Grand Canyon, Native Americans, ranchers, and working ranch animals.

Howard Post (b. 1948) is known for pastoral or countryside scenes. Mr. Post, a Tucson artist, is a modern-day impressionist whose work often shows strong shadows, bold colors, and imaginative settings whose work is inspired by his life in the West.

Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt (b. 1935), a former Tucson resident, lives in Hillsboro, New Mexico, and concentrates on ranch life, people, and Native American subjects using graphite. Mr. Shufelt’s drawings may be found in other museums across the country.

“Mr. and Mrs. Glasser’s donation, along with their recent gift of a Jay Dusard photograph, Buster Scarbrough and Bob Pulley at Bar V Ranch, Arizona, 1981, helps to develop the collection as a major Art of the American West collection,” said Christine Brindza, James and Louise Glasser Curator of Art of the American West.

Demonstrating their long-term commitment to the Museum’s role as Southern Arizona’s premier art museum, in 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Glasser endowed the James and Louise Glasser Curator, Art of the American West position with a major gift.

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