All of Holley's work transforms discarded materials into powerful, often biting critiques of societal wrongs, from racial injustice and child neglect to environmental destruction. He frequently uses materials like old car parts and truck gears, electrical cords, and recycled pieces of communication technology. In “Cutting Up Old Film (Don't Edit the Wrong Thing Out),” Holley uses the found materials of an old film reel (including the film) with some editing scissors. As suggested by the title, the work is a social commentary on the construction of history, calling into question whose voices and perspectives become part of the official record and whose voices are "cut out" of the story.
Noted TMA supporters Mr. and Mrs. Spencer D. Stone generously gifted eight photographs to the Museum, including iconic modernist images by Imogen Cunningham (“False Hellebore (Glacial Lily),” 1926), Jacques-Henri Lartigue (“Paris, La Singer de Course: Bunny III, Avenue des Acacias,” 1912), Danny Lyon (“Crossing the Ohio River, Louisville” from “The Bikeriders,” 1966) and Barbara Morgan (“Merce Cunningham-Totem Ancestor,” 1942).
Titled with her subject’s horticultural name, Cunningham’s photograph is the first example of the artist’s highly regarded botanical images to enter TMA’s collection. In these photographs, the artist utilized luxuriant natural light, tight cropping, and sharp focus to produce an abstracted image that celebrates the natural world’s formal beauty. Through this approach, she captures the graceful curves and characteristic ribbed texture of the plant’s leaves and transforms it from a common California plant into a sensual organic form. “False Hellebore,” together with the three existing Cunningham photographs in TMA’s collection, showcase the range of Cunningham’s vision, as well as her significant contributions to modernist photography.
Among the significant paintings acquired by TMA are two of the first Mexican works to enter the collection: the anonymous nineteenth-century still life of food, tableware, and a parrot; and an eighteenth-century series of four full-length portraits of the Saints Jerome, Gregory, Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure by Andrés López. In addition, TMA purchased two rare still-life paintings by European woman artists. Moillon’s “Still Life of Citrons and Curaçao Oranges in a White Polylobed Dish” (about 1630-34) entrances the viewer with its sense of mystery and sober reflection of the passage of time. And Victoria Dubourg’s “Still Life with Flowers and Peaches” of 1874 is a dramatically lit pyramid arrangement of bounty and introspection.
Macdonald’s “Head of Charlie Parker” was created at the apex of the artist’s career and was inspired by her close friendship with Parker, the legendary jazz soloist, which began in 1952. Parker was keenly interested in Egyptian statuary and the two frequently visited museums on his trips to Los Angeles. “Head of Charlie Parker” depicts a just over life-size bust of the work’s namesake in sandstone sourced from a Pasadena quarry. Parker’s expression is muted and pensive. Though a celebrated figure, he faced a lifetime of racism, hardship, and loss, seemingly finding solace in music but also turning to unhealthy habits that would lead to his premature death. “Head of Charlie Parker” has never been exhibited publicly and relates to busts from the ancient to contemporary worlds represented in TMA’s collection, including ancient Egyptian sculpture, Yoruba visual traditions, and Buddhist statuary.
TMA also purchased two recent glass works of art: Norwood Viviano’s “Recasting Toledo” (2021), which references Toledo and local sites; and Jiro Kamata’s “Holon Pipe” (2020), which features a mirror, gold, and camera lenses in a fantastical combination.
Since its founding in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has earned a global reputation for the quality of its collections, innovative and extensive education programs, and architecturally significant campus. Thanks to the benevolence of its founders, as well as the continued support of its members, TMA remains a privately endowed, non-profit institution and opens its collection to the public, free of charge. The Museum seeks to become the model art museum in the country, leading the way in genuinely and creatively engaging its communities and fostering a sense of belonging for all its audiences.
The Toledo Museum of Art is a nonprofit arts institution funded through individual donations, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships, and investments.